Stir-Frying Without a Wok

Good morning. I loved this column Genevieve Ko wrote for the newspaper that we sent to the plant yesterday, printed overnight, stuffed into blue bags and hurled in the direction of our home-delivery subscribers’ front doors this morning. It’s about how she’s keeping the culinary traditions of her immigrant parents alive, adapting Western kitchen equipment to the Cantonese recipes she grew up with and achieving the smoky deliciousness known as wok hei, or “breath of the wok,” using a skillet, oil, water and a lid. (Our gadget-mad colleague J. Kenji López-Alt uses a propane torch to achieve similar results.)

So I’d like to make her stir-fried brussels sprouts (above) this evening, perhaps to accompany a plate of classic kung pao chicken or, if I can remember to get some fuel for my Bernzomatic 8000, Kenji’s ace smoky lo mein with shiitake and vegetables. Won’t you join me?

There’s so much I’d like to cook this week, as it happens. With a little chill in the evening air where I stay, I’d enjoy a bowl of this excellent cannellini-bean pasta with beurre blanc for dinner some night, perhaps with a little boule of simple crusty bread. In a similar, comforting direction, there’s roast chicken with maple butter and rosemary, which I like with simple mashed potatoes and some Vichy carrots.

Or maybe pan-roasted fish fillets with herb butter, fantastic beside a mound of rice? Crispy lamb meatballs with chickpeas and eggplant (and warm pita, please)? And if time becomes an issue, the commute runs long, you might consider this quick tomato soup with grilled cheese? Those soft and quiet flavors are perfect for fall.

Thousands and thousands more recipes to fit your needs and delight your palate are waiting for you on New York Times Cooking. You need a subscription to access them, it’s true, and I’m guessing you know why: Subscriptions support our work and allow it to continue. I hope, if you haven’t already, that you will subscribe to New York Times Cooking today.

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Now, it’s nothing to do with parsnips or shiso leaves, but Joseph Finder got me to read John le Carré’s last novel, “Silverview,” and I’m glad I did. Moral ambivalence is quite delicious, as it happens.

Here’s our Priya Krishna with a thought-provoking video exploration of the question, “Why Do Grocery Stores Still Have Ethnic Aisles,” on our YouTube channel. (You also follow us on Instagram, right?)



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