I really like Ken Hom
But how did I become so dependent? As much as I like him, I’d like to talk about Chinese food without talking Ken Hom – but how can anybody do this if they are like me and needed instruction on how to cook Chinese food in the UK during the 80’s and 90’s – there was no one else but Ken. But then maybe his audience only included me and a few others – I’m not aware of many other people who pursued Chinese culinary competence as I did.
I suspect the reason is that having bought our wok’s and suffered the continual disappointments, we realised that stir frying was just a big con. There are only so many times you can keep cooking burnt, soggy, over-cooked, under cooked stir-fried messes, before the wok gets thrown out the door.
But I knew what the problem was: Woks do not work on normal stoves. Chinese restaurants use very hot burners (50,000 – 250,000 BTU compared to about 6,000 BTU for a domestic burner).
Still, I am reassured that the vast majority of Chinese households do not have such high heat burners – so there must have been a workaround… I persevered through the years – and many failures – and finally found a workable strategy for my kitchen and equipment. See my tip for more info.