Rockin’ out with my wok out!

I have a confession to make.

I’m a gadget junkie. I love pretty shiny new things, especially when I think they’re a worthwhile purchase (and even when they’re not…I’m STILL regretting the purchase of my blue suede stiletto boots).

However, buying anything new for our kitchen these days usually descends into a battle of epic proportions between my mother and myself. You see, my tendency to purchase the shiny new pretty things has resulted in our kitchen quite literally bursting at the seams with pots and pans and gizmos and gadgets of all sorts. Only last week, I opened one of the kitchen cupboards to have a baking tin tumble onto my foot. You’d think that a baking tray is fairly light so wouldn’t cause my pain, right? NOT SO.

*cue nursing of injured foot and pride*

Anyway, when the wonderful Pip contacted me on behalf of Bessemer and offered me a free product to test, I literally did a dance for joy – after all, my mother could hardly say no to something that was being offered for free, right? I was standing in a car dealership at the time so I got some rather funny looks from the salespeople, but what did I care? And I knew exactly what I wanted – my current non-stick wok (I just don’t like the look of the traditional ones) was dying a slow and painful death and needed replacing, so the timing was absolutely perfect!

Then came the agonizing days of waiting, till I finally arrived home from work to be confronted by a GIGANTIC box! I tore it open and there it was – a wok big enough to bathe a baby in (not that I recommend it be used for this purpose). Quite literally salivating, I read the instruction manual, seasoned it up and set about thinking about how I would break it in.

You see, a wok is a multipurpose tool. Traditionally, they’re used to fry, stir fry, even boil and deep fry, so a proper wok should be able to withstand all of these vastly different cooking procedures. In the end, I decided that the best way to go about it would be to create a symphony of stir-fried dishes as that would be what I’d use it most for.

The question was, what would I stir fry? Having just done a post on my stir frying method, I certainly couldn’t use my usual stand by recipe, so I needed something different. After poring over my cookbooks and talking to a variety of friends, I finally managed to decide on the three recipes I’d use to christen my newest addition to the kitchen – sweet & sour green beans, carrot & snow pea stir fry, and peanut butter beef & cabbage stir fry.

HOWZAT?

Not only did all three recipes prove to be absolute WINNERS, but the Bessemer wok dealt with the cooking without breaking out in even the mildest sweat. A common problem with stirfrying is that it is difficult to reach and maintain the high temperature required to cook the food and evaporate any liquid that forms, but even on a low flame, it was laughing it’s way to the finale.

Now, the three recipes for this post are listed below, but that’s not all! You see, the wonderful Pip and generous folks at Bessemer Australia have also provided me with a Country Kitchen 28cm Deep Fry Pan for one of my lucky readers!

I don’t know whether the one that you’ll receive will actually be this adorable green, but it’s a nifty little bit of kitchenware anyway! To find out how to enter the draw, read through to the bottom of the post ;-)

Peanut butter beef & cabbage stir fry

Ingredients
400 beef (sirloin or flank), cut into thin strips across the grain
2-3 large pak choi, cleaned and seperated into leaves
6-7 large Napa cabbage leaves, cleaned
2 onions, peeled and trimmed and cut into eighths
7-8 mushrooms (button or oyster), brushed clean and chopped into thick strips
1-3 Thai birdseye chillies (depending on your tolerance)
1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/3 cup kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
Rice and finely chopped spring onion, to serve

1. Mix together the peanut butter, kecap manis and chillis in a small bowl, then use half of it to marinate the beef. Make sure that you massage the marinade in well, it’s a sticky sauce so it will need to be thoroughly mixed in by hand. Once the marinade is thoroughly mixed in, heat up the wok with a dash of oil, then stir fry the beef till cooked. Once cooked, transfer it to a plate.

2. Roughly chop your pak choi and Napa cabbage, seperating the leafy green bits from the crunchy stalks. Heat the wok up with another dash of oil, then add the crunchy stalks and the onion and stir fry till just cooked (you want them to be softened, but still retain their CRUNCH!). Add the rest of the marinade and stir fry till well coated, then turn off the heat and add the leafy greens from your Asian cabbages as well as the beef and stir through till everything is well combined!

This dish is perfect to be served with a bowl of steamed rice, but there’s no reason you couldn’t serve it atop of noodles instead!

Carrot & Snow Pea Stir Fry

Ingredients
2 medium-sized carrots, peeled and trimmed
300g snow peas, trimmed and strings removed
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 small knob of ginger, roughly chopped

1. Peel your carrots and chop them into halves, then cut lengthwise into thin strips. Heat your wok with a dash of oil, then add the garlic and ginger and fry till softened.

2. Add the carrot and fry while vigorously stirring/tossing to ensure that it all cooks evenly. Once the carrot is just cooked (softened but still crunchy), add the snow peas and cook for another 2-3 minutes or till the snow peas are slightly softened and have turned bright green.

You might think that just plain garlic and ginger aren’t enough to flavour this dish, but you’d be wrong. Both carrots and snow peas are traditionally ‘sweet’ vegetables when they’re fresh, and this is what this dish relies on. Make this with fresh produce (and resist from adding salt or any other flavourings) and you may find yourself surprised by how sweet and tasty these veggies are!

Sweet & Sour Green Beans

Ingredients
300g green beans, trimmed (any super long ones should be cut in half)
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1. Top and tail your beans, removing any strings if they have them, then bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Once the water is rapidly boiling, tip in the beans and blanch for 2-3 minutes or till just beginning to go soft.

2. Prepare a bowl with ice water and a pinch of salt, then tip the blanched beans into the ice water to halt the cooking process. Once they’ve completely cooled down, pour them into a colander to drain as much as possible.

3. Mix together the soy sauce, rice vinegar and sugar and pour into the wok. Once the mixture starts to simmer, add the beans and stir fry, making sure the beans are cooking evenly. Once the marinade has reduced and begins to thicken and coat the beans, add in the toasted sesame seeds and toss to combine!

This trio of dishes work together marvellously, and are amazingly quick and easy to put together – in fact, you should be able to go from start to finish in about 30 minutes. Not bad for such a variety of dishes, if I do say so myself ;-)

Now, to the bit you’re all waiting for!

HOW TO WIN THE BESSEMER FRYING PAN!
(Please note that this competition is only open to readers living in Australia)

In order to enter the draw to win this adorable frying pan, just leave a comment detailing what recipe you’d use to christen the frying pan with if you win it! The draw will be open for 1 week, and will close at midnight on Wednesday 17th March, to be drawn randomly the next day!

The winner will also be offered the opportunity to write a guest post on my blog showing off the recipe that they’ve used in their new frying pan…or at least send through a picture of them with their new goodie! ;-)

[tags]stir fry, peant butter, beef, rice, Asian, Bessemer[/tags]

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Comments

  1. Simple, an oyster omlette…which I guess is a shallow fry.

  2. I understand about being a gadget freak. :roll:

    It is a very difficult choice and do I have to pick between wasabi beef and cereal prawns? And since I am the first, please pick me!

  3. Jules Stone says:

    If I won the fabulous prize I would christen the fry pan with crepes, sauteed banana & caramel sauce. Gluten free ofcourse so my whole family could enjoy them! Mmmmm banana caramel crepes…..

  4. ooooh definitely Chapchae! Yum yum yum!

    Lisa.x

  5. i really need a wok because i don’t have one. non-stick would be perfect so i don’t burn things too easily :-) my first dish would be to get a fresh mud crab and cook it with the singapore chilli sauce i have in the pantry i received as part of a birthday present. i wok would be ideal to try and cook it. otherwise scrambled eggs with creamed corn if i can’t find a decent mud crab at the fish markets :-)

  6. Nicola Nye says:

    Spicy honey and macadamia prawns. Mm-mm-mmm!

  7. I would christen my pan with stuffed squid with a rich tomato red wine sauce. YUMS!

  8. Christian says:

    Well I probably wont beat some of those super interesting sounding entries but I definitely want to try making gnocchi and i LOVE pumpkin in all its forms so this amazing pumpkin gnocchi recipe is in my to-do list but I need a serious pan!

    Pan-Fried Pumpkin Gnocchi with Brown Butter Sage
    As posted by Steamy Kitchen
    http://steamykitchen.com/6515-pan-fried-pumpkin-gnocchi-browned-butter-sage.html

    1/2 cup skim milk ricotta
    1/2 cup canned pumpkin
    1/2 cup freshly grated parmegiano reggiano
    1 large egg yolk
    1 teaspoon lemon zest (plus extra reserved for garnishing)
    1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp table salt)
    1 cup all purpose flour, sifted plus more for dusting
    3 tablespoons butter, divided
    2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
    2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
    3 sprigs fresh sage, plus more for garnish
    shaved parmegiano reggiano for serving

    Preheat oven to 300F

    1. Combine ricotta, pumpkin parmagiano, yolk, zest and salt in large bowl. Mix well. Sprinkle half of the flour on the mixture, gently turn with spatula a few times to incorporate. Dump mixture on clean, lightly floured countertop or you can still do this in the bowl. Sprinkle remaining flour on top of the mixture. Gently knead with your fingertips, just bringing together the mixture until flour is incorporated through. This only should take a minute or two. Any longer and you will be over-kneading.

    2. Dust a clean, dry surface with a generous sprinkling of flour. Divide dough into 4 parts. Take one part and roll into a long, 1″ diameter log. Cut gnocchi into 1″ pieces.

    3. Heat a large frying pan or saute pan with just 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, add a few gnocchi – enough to cover surface but not touch each other. Fry on medium heat for 1-2 minutes, turn and fry for another 1-2 minutes. Remove gnocchi, place on large baking sheet to put into oven to keep warm. Repeat with rest of gnocchi.

    4. When all gnocchi is finished, discard butter/oil in pan and clean pan with paper towel. Heat pan on medium heat and when hot, add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, add the fresh sage. Let the sage brown and sizzle (but not burn) for a couple of minutes until very fragrant. Remove the sage and discard if you want (or keep it in to eat). To the pan, add the balsamic vinegar and whisk. Let simmer on low for 1 minute and pour over the gnocchi.

    5. Serve with shaved parmegiano reggiano and a sage leaf for garnish.

    Serves 4.

  9. I’d probably do a vegetable stir fry.

    Love your site btw!

  10. Gosh…I’m not sure…so many come to mind. Maybe just simple, yummy crab cakes.

  11. I’m feeling an omelet. Of course, that could change over the course of the next five minutes, so I might have to get back to you ;-)

  12. I would make my favorite recipe: beef stroganoff. :)

  13. I’d make agedashi tofu! :mrgreen:

  14. For me- a spinach and pinenut frittata! Thanks for the opportunity

  15. oooh that beef looks great!
    I would probably christen the pan with a big batch of apple and cinnamon pancakes :)

  16. Hmmmm so many options! It would probably be a pretty simple mushroom stirfry with an obligatory green vegetable of some sort.

    That or Mapo Tofu with it’s fermenty beany goodness…

  17. Been trying to decide on the wok I want too – stainless steel vs cast iron….and still thinking. Cast iron is kinda heavy for me.

    Love to do everything in my wok too…yes…including soup and toasting my bread. :p

  18. It looks wonderful Ellie. I think it would be perfect for cooking my Orange Glazed Spareribs.

  19. Ohh those photos look delicious as usual Ellie! They’re making my tummy rumble!

    The first dish I would cook in my new frying pan would be to try making Char-Grilled Salmon with Lemon and Lime Butter Sauce – my husband loves it, but hasn’t had it for ages, and i’d love to cook it for him for our 1 year wedding anniversary on April 26th – and i’d be more than happy to document the whole process for a guest blog!

    Twist

  20. Too many choices!

    But I would have to say kreatopita – the lamb pie.

  21. new fry pan would be christened with maple and paprika glazed pork chops with sweet & sour cabbage.

    Which I now really want for dinner tonight but don’t have the ingredients..dammit! :)

  22. I would christen it with rainbow beef!

  23. Iv seen my auntie make cakes in her bessemer frying pan!!

    So i would love to try to make a chocolate layered cake with a ganash icing!!

  24. Well, the first thing that I would make would be one of your recipes Ellie! I’m keen to try the peanut butter beef and cabbage stir fry. Looks great!

    But secondly I would probably make my mum’s chicken liver pate. YUM! I haven’t made it in ages.

  25. I would go with my standby stirfried bok choy with oyster sauce and plenty of garlic. Too easy.

  26. I think I would christen my new pan with snitzel. It may not be the most exciting dish, but it would certainly test out the not-needing-oil-fantastic-coating on the pan!

  27. I would make my Chickpea Salad ala Rebecca with crispy chorizo and fried cumin seeds….yum!

    Thanks Ellie…this is a fantastic comp!

  28. Nice one, Ellie!

    My latest fry-pan love is pancakes – I made a batch of savoury cheese ones yesterday and my freezer full of bananas tells me that I need to make some sweeter ones too. :-)

  29. Can I enter again / change my mind?! I’ve just been reading through some of your old recipes and am super keen to try the ricotta hotcakes, I love the ones at APTE in Alphington and am going to try yours at home very soon!

    I also might have a go at some of the things other people are posting. They all sound delicious!

  30. I always feel so accomplished every time I buy new things for my kitchen too :smile: Great recipes, a perfect balance of flavors.

  31. Your post was funny as usual; I am the opposite, I get rid of everything i have and regret it afterwards!
    Thanks for the wonderful meal and the cooking lesson

  32. This whole meal looks amazing! I am thinking, should lady luck be on my side, your Korean spicy deep-fried chicken looks like a great first. ;)

  33. I think I’d make some pancakes. Nice thick American style ones to be served with some fruit (strawberries and blueberries maybe) bacon, maple syrup and some whipped cream. nom nom.

  34. Well apparently Charlie’s making pancakes for me – I’ll skip the bacon and whipped cream – so I’ll just lovingly admire the frying pan from a distance ;)

  35. Helen Metzger says:

    Heya Ellie!
    I’m loving excess time at the moment for some cooking before bubba, :-) it’s currently Heidelberg Rye time, and apple harvest in the backyard (to beat the parrots to the last of the Granny Smith crop!) but you can’t cook rye bread in a frypan (i don’t think?! :-)) I reckon first dish for such a swish Bessemer, green or not!, would be healthy, fat swiss brown mushrooms, lots of them, fried first with olive oil and butter, a touch of garlic, simmered with red wine, thyme, and a whole lotta parsley. goes well with some mashed patatas! yes indeed.
    many kisses,
    helen
    xxx

  36. ohhhhhh to make bacon and eggs on the weekend, to fry zucchini flowers, to coat it in oil and rub it against my husband’s bald head – oops sorry ….

  37. Those dishes look delicious Ellie.

    That wok looks so cute. I would christen it with crepes and caramelised banana served with roasted walnuts, maply syrup and vanilla ice cream.

  38. I would make a green curry, been meaning to learn how to do it properly for a while and that spiffy pan looks just the inspiration I need.

  39. I have a bessemer wok! A ‘loan’ from a friend who ended up with two when he moved out of home. All housemates know not to scratch my bessemer under pain of death.
    I christened my wok with a stir fry, of course. Nothing specific, my stir-fries always just end up being whatever veges I have with splashes of whatever sauces I have :)
    I’m pretty sure, being brand new out-of-home, my stir fry wasn’t very spectacular. Likely quite soggy.
    These days I’m an expert at the Aussie Stirfry ;)
    I like to start with dry frying some nuts, peanuts, or even just mixed nuts. Get ‘em all in there!
    Take them out once they start to shine, and then whack in the veges in order from hard to soft.
    When they’re almost done, start splashing your sauces, the thicker ones and the soy last as they’ll burn if I’m not careful and set off the smoke detector!
    Serve on white rice or 2-min noodles. Perfect student food!
    I’m on a pancake oddessy these past few weeks, I found a cookbook from ‘Bette’s Oceanview Diner’. Pancakes of all sorts! I would definately christen a new bessemer frypan with some of Bette’s oatmeal and raisin pancakes. :razz:

  40. Your recipes do look enticing.
    But I would christen a new wok with a vege stir fry and become more creative from there.

  41. Great pics. My wife makes a similar looking dish and I love it. I should probably go home and have dinner with her and the kids right now.

  42. Eggy fried rice or pancakes! Now i’m getting hungry… :grin:

  43. this looks sooooooooo good. mail some to me pretty please? :grin:

  44. This recipe looks good and healthy and yummy too. Nice and beautiful pictures you have here. Korean recipes are awesome :)

  45. If you were on this end, you would have literally heard my stomach growl. I love stir fry and this beef with veggies looks (and I’m sure tasted) amazing! It reminded me that I actually do have a wok in the garage that I have not used near enough. Kudos.
    -Sylvia

  46. Joy Jhugroo says:

    This Wok IS fantastic! I moved to Holland with my family of five and THIS is what I took in my luggage. I knew I couldn’t live without it. I cooked every meal in it till I could grasp the language and shop for some other cooking utensils. It was a godsend. Joy

  47. Thanks for the comments guys! This is indeed a fabulous wok…but any wok will do a great job for a decent stir fry :)

  48. I’m still a stir fry novice, but I would have to say basil beef. Mmmmm basil.

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