Preparation Techniques

The success of any dish depends on careful forethought and preparation. To achieve an authentic Asian appearance and even cooking results, food should be cut into small, even pieces. This allows food to cook quickly and to be easily picked up with chopsticks.

Slicing

bew800xl-slicingA straight slice is used for cutting meats and vegetables. Slices should be of an even thickness. Partially frozen meat will slice more evenly. Slice meat very thinly, across the grain to obtain a more tender result.

Matchstick or Julienne

bew800xl-julienneFirst slice the vegetables as described above. Then, stack slices and cut again into thin or thick sticks depending on the recipe.

Shredding

bew800xl-shreddingUsed for cutting meats and vegetables. 1/4-inch (5mm) slices of food should be stacked, then cut again into 1/4-inch (5mm) sticks. Vegetables such as cabbage and spinach should have their leaves stacked, then rolled up. Cut width-ways very finely.

Cubing and Dicing

bew800xl-cubingdicingUsed for cutting meats and vegetables. To cube, cut 1-inch (2.5cm) slices, then stack them on top of one another and slice 1/8-inch (3mm) thick in the opposite direction. Cut again in the opposite direction forming 1-inch (2.5cm) cubes. To dice, follow the same directions, making 5mm slices forming 1/4-inch (5mm) cubes.

Stir-Frying Techniques

  • Recommended temperature probe setting:
    HIGH SEAR for meats.
    12-14 for vegetables and seafood.
  • The cooking action for stir-frying is a continual tossing motion to ensure the food is evenly exposed to the heat and cooks quickly and evenly in a couple of minutes.
  • Stir-frying should be carried out using a high heat setting.
  • Preheat your wok before adding any ingredients, allow the temperature light to cycle on and off as over cooking will give a tough, dry result. Cooking times depend on the size and thickness of the cut, as the bigger the cut, the more time that is needed.

Recommended Cuts for Stir-Frying

BeefLean beef strips prepared from rump, sirloin, rib eye and fillet.
ChickenLean chicken strips prepared from breast fillets, tenderloins, thigh fillets.
LambLean lamb strips prepared from fillet, lamb leg steaks, round or topside mini roasts and loin.
PorkLean pork strips prepared from leg, butterfly or medallion steaks or fillet.
VealEye of loin, fillet, round, rump or topside.

NOTE: Make sure to carefully cook the meat to the minimum temperature required to prevent contamination.

Stir-Fry Tips

  • Buy meat strips from your butcher or supermarket, or prepare meat strips from recommended cuts listed previously by removing any fat and slicing thinly across the grain (across direction of meat fibers). Slicing across the grain ensures tenderness. Cut into very thin strips, approximately 2 – 3 inches (5 – 8cm) in length. Partially freeze meat (approximately 30 minutes) to make slicing easier.
  • Stir-fry meat strips in small batches (approx 1⁄2 pound; 225g) to stop meat from shedding its juice and ‘stewing’, resulting in tougher meat.
  • When adding meat strips to the wok, the strips should sizzle.
  • Stir-fry meat strips for 1 – 2 minutes. Any longer will toughen meat.
  • Remove each batch when cooked and allow the wok to reheat before stir-frying the next batch. By cooking in small batches, the heat of the wok remains constant, ensuring the meat does not stew and toughen. A small amount of oil can be mixed through the meat strips before adding to the wok, along with any other flavoring such as garlic, ginger and chili peppers. A little sesame oil can also add flavor. Mixing the meat with the oil rather than heating it separately in the wok eliminates using too much.
  • Drain off thin marinades from meat strips before stir-frying to prevent stewing and splatter.
  • Peanut oil is traditionally used for Asian style stir-fry dishes. However other oils such as vegetable, canola and light olive may be used.
  • Do not overfill the wok. If necessary cook in batches and reheat at the end of stir-frying. If using this method remember to under cook slightly as to not overcook the end result.
  • Serve stir-fried foods immediately to retain their crisp texture.
  • Stir-fry vegetables after sealing the meat in a little oil (or sprinkling of water) until vivid in color for:
    This brief cooking time will keep vegetables crisp.
    3 MinutesOnion, quartered
    Broccoli, flowerets
    Carrots, sliced
    Soaked Chinese dried mushrooms
    2 MinutesSnow peas
    Bell peppers, sliced
    Zucchinis, sliced
    Water chestnuts
    Bamboo shoots
    1 MinuteGarlic, minced
    Chili pepper, minced
    Ginger, minced
    Shallots, chopped
    Bean sprouts

Shallow Frying

  • Recommended temperature probe setting:
    8 – 10
    Used to crisp and cook foods in a small amount of oil. The foods may have already been cooked.
  • Use approximately 3 cups (750ml) of oil, or sufficient oil so that half the food is immersed.
  • Preheat the oil before adding food. When using oil never cover with the glass lid during shallow frying as this will cause condensation to drip
    into the oil and result in bubbling and splattering.
  • Do not move the wok during heating or cooking.
  • Wipe moisture from foods to avoid splattering.
  • Cook a few pieces at a time to ensure crispness.
  • Drain cooked foods on paper towels to reduce greasiness.
  • Never leave your wok unattended or unsupervised while shallow frying.
  • Allow oil to cool before removing from the wok.
  • Vegetable, peanut or canola oil is recommended for shallow frying.

Slow Cooking (Braising)

  • Recommended temperature probe setting:
    1 – 2
  • Your wok is ideal for slow cooking curries and casseroles.
  • Slow cooking allows less-tender meat cuts to be used, to obtain a tender result. Less-tender meat cuts contain sinew and gristle, and these will be broken down during cooking to give a tender result.
  • It is not recommended to slow cook with tender meat cuts, as they will toughen and shrink during cooking.