Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wok this way

Michael bought an electric wok. I must admit, I was skeptical --- what the heck do we need with another appliance, particularly one that takes up so much room, particularly when we have three or six frying pans / cassoulets that do a fine job of making stir-fry?

However, I will admit to being won over. This thing is amazing. It gets way hotter than the stove, has a beautifully huge cooking surface, and sears vegetables and tofu in no time flat. It's also a whiz at stir-fried noodle dishes. On the stove, even in our big paella pan, noodles would tend to get gummed up and wouldn't incorporate evenly with the rest of the dish. But in the wok, since there's actually enough room in there to keep everything moving around, the noodles stay nice and spread out and they take flavor wonderfully. One of the first dishes we made was stir-fried egg noodles with greens and tofu, and I'm sure that was a sneaky ploy on Michael's part to get me to accept the wok, since he knows how much I love noodles.

It didn't hurt that it was a condition on the wok's purchase that we clean out the pantry in order to make sure that there was room to store it. So it was goodbye to boxes of old tea bags and to empty glass jars, and goodbye to a dozen or so never-used mugs of dubious sentimental value. Goodbye, also, to the bread maker: We last used it in 2003, long before we started baking our own bread, and it's been collecting dust ever since. Hello, Goodwill! (More on that in a future post.)

Since this is us I'm talking about here, spending money on one thing involves spending more money on other things. Along with the wok came Chinese cooking wine (shaoxing), a new bottle of soy sauce, vegetarian fish sauce, and three different kinds of noodles (udon, rice, and egg). Thank goodness for cheap prices at the Asian grocery store!