The Breath of a Wok with Grace Young

Grace Young | Kichen Chat

“When a stir fry is cooked, it possesses “Wok Hei (hay)” which means life force. I like to call it the breath of a wok.” Grace Young aka Stir Fry Guru

Grace Young will teach you the insiders’ secrets of seasoning your wok. Also known as Stir Fry Guru and a Wok Therapist, Young is a prolific cookbook author. It’s important to season your wok. First you need to scrub it with stainless steel sponge and dish soap and water. If you don’t have access to Chinese Chives, use one bunch of scallions and 1/2 cup sliced ginger. Use high smoking point oil such as peanut, grapeseed, canola or avocado oil. Never use olive oil. For a quick demo on how to season your wok, check out Grace Young’s Wok Therapist video.

Grace Young has recently partnered with the James Beard Foundation to help #SaveChineseRestaurants through Instagram. Post a dish from your local Chinese restaurant and tag a friend along with James Beard Foundation on Instagram and use the hashtag #SaveChineseRestaurants. During this pandemic, we have lost over 30% of Chinese restaurants. Young is interviewing restaurant owners in NYC’s Chinatown to provide insight into the impact on businesses.

Here are Grace Young’s Top Tips for Stir Fry Cooking:

  1. Get a Carbon Steel, flat bottomed, 14″ Wok. Never get a non-stick Wok. Most non-stick pans aren’t intended for high heat. Grace Young recommends ordering your wok from Wok Shop in San Francisco from the owner, Tane Chan.
  2. Limit the amount of food you put in your wok so it’s not crowded. The food needs room to sear and bring out the intense flavor. Don’t ever put more than a pound of chicken or 12 oz of beef. Limit your vegetables to four cups.
  3. Pre-heat your wok before adding you high heat oil and stir fry ingredients.