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A Wok On the Healthy Side – Part 1

January 21st, 2011 - By Lari Robling

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Part I:
Stir-frying can be a healthy way to cook, and Asian markets are filled with an array of vegetables to try. Join Grace Young, author of Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge on a Philadelphia shopping trip to buy Asian ingredients and learn to rock the wok.


Photos by Matt Campbell

RECIPES: -Stir-Fried Yau Choi with Oyster Sauce »
-Stir-Fried Lettuce with Garlic Chili »
-Yin Yang Beans »

Continue Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge in this conversation between Chef Jim Coleman and Grace Young from July 2010.


While food from a Chinese restaurant is usually brimming with vegetables, it’s often high in fat and additives. But, Chinese homecooking is one of the healthiest and easiest cooking methods. That’s what Grace Young says, she’s the author of Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge. Young is often called the wok evangelist, so she offered to teach me the basics. We began in an Asian market in Philadelphia where her energy and enthusiasm for authentic ingredients was catching…

Robling: “Alright, wait for me grace…”

Young: “This is a pretty great selection of vegetables for the wintertime here we are looking at Shanghai bok choi, which is really quite beautiful, very, very, delicate. Right next to it is one of my favorite vegetables its called yau choi. This vegetable is perfect in the wintertime it has very, very slender stems, they are almost like the size of a thick pencil, and it has this beautiful dark green leafy tops to it. I think this would actually be a great vegetable for us to stir-fry today, this is really gorgeous quality.”

Robling: “Good let’s buy that one.”

Young: “So, there’s a tremendous selection of oyster sauces, but my all-time favorite is made by Lee Kum Kee, that’s the name of the brand, and they are the originators of oyster sauce. Even they have many, many different styles of oyster sauce, but my favorite is this bottle right here. It says here premium oyster flavored sauce so that’s the one to look for.”

Robling: “What else do we need?”

Young: “Fish sauce, and my favorite brand is called Three Crabs Brand Fish Sauce. Do be very careful because there are a lot of knock-offs and sometimes there are fish sauces that you can buy that are called ‘Two Crabs.’ ”

Young: “Of course you need soy sauce. My favorite happens to be Kikkomann which of course is not Chinese, but they make a soy sauce that is organic. This one is additive free and the flavor is just clean and fresh.”

Robling: “Ok, so we have all of our ingredients, right?”

Young: “Yeah.”

Join us next Saturday when Grace and I shop for the best wok. You’ll be surprised where we found it!


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Move Over, Kale Chips! Kale Buds Are Here

By Lari Robling - April 18th, 2012

High Tunnel farming caught my eye because its extended growing season adds to the amount of local produce we get. While farm manager Aviva Asher was tidying up the winter crop to make way for spring, I discovered another benefit of local growing: use what you’ve got.

More wisdom »

December 2014
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