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Cooking with JoJo: Cooking Stir-Fry is just a wok in the park

Joey Morasse • Jul 25, 2017 at 8:27 PM

I know. The headline is a bad joke, but this recipe is both fun and nutritious. If you do not have a wok, get one. 

The idea that a wok is used only for stir-fry is not true. I use it for steaming, searing and many other uses. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a quality wok. The 14-inch wok I use has plenty of room both in diameter and depth. It heats up quickly and makes cooking any size meal a breeze. I prefer a wok made of carbon steel and a flat bottom since I have a flat-top stove. If you have a gas stove, a round bottom will sit nicely into the gas burner. You’ll need to season it as well. There are many videos on how to properly season it, which will make it virtually non-stick. Be sure to oil it after each cleaning to prevent rust. Now, on to the recipe…

What you’ll need: 

• ¼ cup olive oil. You’re cooking a healthy meal, use a healthy high-temperature oil.

• 1 pound of boneless pork chops with the fat trimmed.

• 2 bell peppers.

• 1 medium Vidalia onion.

• 8 ounces of mushrooms, whole or sliced.

• 1 head of broccoli.

• 3 stalks of celery.

• 2 tsp. minced garlic.

• 1 tsp. ground ginger.

• 1 tsp. salt.

• 1 tsp. black pepper.

• 3 tbsp. soy. If you have soy allergies or are watching your sodium, use coconut aminos.

For this recipe, you’ll want to thinly slice all of your ingredients before turning on the heat.

I get asked from time to time which knives I use. After trying different brands for many years, I have found a chef’s knife that is not only comfortable to use and well balanced, but is also very sharp and precise. The company is Kuma. They make only chef’s knives and they really know what they are doing. Whether you’re rough chopping or, like in this recipe, going for a nice even cut to ensure even cooking, this knife does it all. The best part is that they are less than $30. So, the answer to the question of which knives do I use, I use only one.

With your wok on high heat, add only half of the oil to coat the sides, and allow the oil to pool in the bottom. When the oil starts to shimmer, start adding in the veggies in the order of what will take longer to cook. Remember to stir, stir, stir. Allow each item to cook for about five to eight minutes. I go in this order – bell peppers, celery, broccoli, onions, mushrooms and pork at the end, along with the soy. Add oil as you go to continue the frying method of cooking. 

All veggies and even meat have water in them. As you are cooking, if too much water forms in the bottom, slide all your ingredients up the side of the wok, and allow the liquid to evaporate slightly. You want to fry, not boil. If it does not evaporate quickly, ladle some of it out and set aside to add to top off your serving if you wish. 

Always feel free to add more seasoning to get the flavors you want. I always add a little more ginger and a pinch of salt, so don’t be afraid to do the same. Enjoy.

Cooking since he could pull a chair up to the stove at 5 years old, Joey Morasse, of Lebanon, is the owner and operator of JoJo’s Barbecue and Catering. He is also a personal chef and offers in-home cooking classes.

 

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