Practical Cooking: Wok and Stir Fry is so out of print, that I am unable to provide you with any form of link to it. I can tell you it was published by Hinkler Books in 2001 & 2004, but apparently it doesn’t exist according to the internet. If it does turn up at any point, I will link to it here.
It’s difficult to make multiple dishes in a wok when you only have one wok, but all the dishes I list below can be made in large frying pans and saucepans. Many of the dishes in this book call for the contents to be simmered while covered, which is easier to do in a saucepan than in my wok (which doesn’t have a lid). Overall (if you can find this book anywhere), I’d recommend it – tasty food, good size servings. 3 out of 5 stars.
Stir-Fried Chicken with Basil
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- 3 tbsp green curry paste
- 450g skinless, boneless, chicken breast fillet, trimmed and cut into cubes
- 8 cherry tomatoes
- 100ml coconut cream
- 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
- 2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
- 1 green chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
- 75 g fresh torn basil leaves
- springs of fresh coriander to garnish
- fresh steamed rice to serve
- Heat the wok, then add the oil and heat for 1 minute. Add the green curry paste and cook, stirring for 1 minutes to release the flavour and cook the paste. Add the chicken and stir-fry over a high heat for 2 minutes, making sure the chicken is coated thoroughly with the green curry paste.
- Reduce the heat under the wok, then add the cherry tomatoes and cook, stirring gently, for 2 – 3 minutes, or until the tomatoes burst and begin to disintegrate into the green curry paste.
- Add half the coconut cream and add to the wok with the brown sugar, Thai fish sauce and the red and green chillies. Stir-fry gently for 5 minutes, or until the sauce is amalgamated and the chicken is cooked thoroughly.
- Just before serving, sprinkle the chicken with the torn basil leaves and add the remaining coconut cream, then serve immediately with freshly steamed white rice garnished with fresh coriander sprigs.
Notes on this recipe:
- The chillies made it really spicy – and that will vary because chillies vary in heat. We just happened to find two hot ones, you may not. If it is too spicy, consider adding more coconut milk.
- This was the favourite of the night – I’d definitely make it again.
Spiced Tomato Pilau
- 225g basmati rice
- 40g unsalted butter
- 4 green cardamom pods
- 2 star anise
- 4 whole cloves
- 10 black peppercorns
- 5cm piece cinnamon bark
- 1 large red onion, peeled and finely sliced
- 175g canned chopped tomatoes
- salt and pepper
- sprigs of fresh coriander to garnish
- Wash the rice in several changes of water until the water remains relatively clear. Drain the rice and cover with fresh water. Leave to soak for 30 minutes. Drain well and reserve.
- Heat the wok, then melt the butter and add the cardamoms, star anise, cloves, black peppercorns and the cinnamon stick. Cook gently for 30 seconds. Increase the heat and add the onion. Stir-fry for 7 – 8 minutes until tender and starting to brown. Add the drained rice and cook a further 2 – 3 minutes.
- Sieve the tomatoes, retain the liquid and mix the tomato liquid with sufficient warm water to make 450ml. Pour this into the wok, season to taste with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
- Cover, reduce the heat to very low and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the wok from the heat and leave covered for a further 10 minutes. DO not life the lid during cooking or resting. Finally, uncover and mix well with a form, heat for 1 minutes, then garnish the the sprigs of fresh coriander and serve immediately.
Notes on this recipe:
- The instructions need to be far clearer. I’ve actually improved them above so they make sense. The original instructions regarding the tomatoes were “Sieve the tomatoes and mix with sufficient warm water to make 450ml”. It took me a little while to figure out that it wanted me to retail the liquid and discard the solid tomatoes. We ended up using passata to avoid waste.
- This dish is very subtly flavoured and was overwhelmed by the rest of the dishes I cooked on this evening. It did need something more, I’m not entirely sure what was missing, but something.
Vegetable Kofta Curry
- 350g potatoes, peeled and diced
- 225g carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 225g parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
- 75g plan flour, sifted
- 8 tbsp sunflour oil
- 2 onions, peeled and sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and grushed
- 2.5cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 tbsp garam masala
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 300ml vegetable stock
- 250ml Greek style yoghurt
- 3 tbsp freshly chopped coriander
- salt and pepper
- Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the potatoes, carrots and parsnips. Cover and simmer for 12 – 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Drain the vegetables and mash until very smooth. Stir the egg into the vegetable puree, then add the flour and mix to make a stiff paste and reserve.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wok and gently cook the onions for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a further 2 – 3 minutes, or until very soft and just beginning to colour.
- Sprinkle the garam masala over the onions and stir in. Add the tomato paste and stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a wok or frying pan. Drop tablespoons of vegetable batter, 4 or 5 at a time and fry, turning often, 3 – 4 minutes until brown and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent kitchen paper. Keep warm in a low oven (100 – 120C) while cooking the rest.
- Stir the yoghurt and coriander into the onion sauce. Slowly heat to boiling point and season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the koftas between warmed serving plates and spoon over the sauce. Serve immediately.
Notes on this recipe:
- A touch of chilli would have brought this dish to life. Added to the garam masala, it would have brought all the rest of the flavours forward. That said, it was really nice on its own and very simple to make.