As part of our never-ending quest to eat healthy (most days) and try new things, Mr. Cheese and I set out to buy our first wok. I have to admit, I’d never cooked with a wok before and I was naïve in thinking “how hard can this be?”
I learned there is a science to what order the aromatics go into the wok, versus the veggies and meat or seafood. While that’s enough to figure out, the wok is smoking hot so the decision as to what goes in and when, must be made prior to cook time and all ingredients should be chopped up in advance. For novice cooks, this is where the lesson of mise en place comes in.
There are also things to consider, such as what sauce or flavorings to use and will the sauce stick to the ingredients? If you need a thickener, do you reach for cornstarch, arrowroot or the natural thickeners that may leach out of a vegetable you might be using?
Delving into the world of ‘wokery’ has brought me back to the most basic lesson I picked up in cooking school: there is so much to learn and the flavor combinations and possibilities when working with food, are endless. It all makes me hungrier for more.
Shrimp & Asparagus
- 1 Tablespoons Thai chili sauce
- 1 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon sherry vinegar
- ½ teaspoon arrowroot
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- ½ sweet onion, small dice
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon ginger, minced
- 1 ½ pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup asparagus, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 medium tomato, small dice
- ½ teaspoon salt
How to Make It!
Mix together the Thai chili sauce, soy sauce, sherry vinegar and arrowroot and set aside. Put the wok on high heat and once hot, add the sesame oil and a minute later, add the onion, garlic and ginger. Let cook for about 3-5 minutes, then add the asparagus and shrimp. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the shrimp are almost fully cooked and add the tomatoes. Stir together for a minute or two. Stir the sauce into the wok and allow to cook for another 2 minutes to reduce. Salt, to taste. Serves 4