Award-winning author Grace Young celebrates and demystifies the art of wok cooking for the Western home cook.
Young's fascination with wok cooking began in San Francisco's Chinatown, where her father taught her to appreciate wok hay, the elusive and prized taste that food achieves when cooked in a wok. As an adult, her quest to reproduce that extraordinary taste sent her on a journey through America, Hong Kong, and China, where she gathered stories, recipes, and advice from home cooks, professional chefs, and culinary teachers. The result is not just a cookbook but a unique documentation of a way of life: wok cooking is not just about recipes, but about cultivating and cooking with all the senses, and about perpetuating one of the world's oldest culinary traditions. Beginning with the selection, seasoning, and care of a wok, Young elucidates the secrets of wok hay and offers 120 recipes ranging from simple to complex, including favorites like Kung Pao Chicken and Moo Shoo Pork as well as unusual dishes like Tofu with Cilantro Relish and Stir-Fried Garlic Lettuce. Young also offers menu suggestions for family-style meals and Chinese New Year celebrations, plus a comprehensive glossary and resource list. Illustrated with 150 photographs by acclaimed photographer Alan Richardson, The Breath of a Wok is an extraordinary culinary adventure.