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Unchopped

by: Jeremy Pang

London UK: Quadrille 2015, $20.00, Hardbound
ISBN: 978-1-84949-574-5


Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Winter Volume: 2016 Issue: 23(4) page(s): 19

This author started a 'School of Wok' in 2009 in Central London. Ken calls the book a fundamental masterpiece and Martin Poole provides clear full-page color photographs of every recipe. The culinary techniques are detailed, the rear cover says they are exceptional, and we agree.

The first chapter begins with eighteen simple and essential culinary techniques including slicing and dicing followed by fifty-five ingredients in a Chinese pantry, and information called 'A Wok's Clock's preparations separated with cooking and cooking times.

Recipes are detailed in chapters titled: Stir-frying, Deep-frying, Steaming, Poaching and Braising,, Roasting and Double Cooking, Salads, Pickles and Sides. They are followed by a four-page three-column cross-referenced index, and a single-page titled: Acknowledgements (their local spelling used throughout).
Stir-fried Green Beans with Chilli Hoisin Sauce
Ingredients:
250g fine green beans
Ĺ onion
a small knob of ginger
1 fresh birdís eye chilli
2 garlic cloves
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
chilli hoisin sauce
: 1 teaspoon Chiu Chow chilli oil
1 Tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 Tablespoon Shao Xing rice wine
A dash of dark soy sauce
Preparation:
1. Top and tail the beans and drop them into a pan of boiling water. Blanch them for two minutes, then drain and cool under cold running water. 2. Finely slice the onion and ginger. Dice the birdís eye chilli, and using the flat side of a knife or cleaver, smash the garlic cloves to release their flavour and remove their skin.
3. Mix the chilli hoisin ingredients together in a small bowl or ramekin. Build your wok clock: Lace your finely-diced onion at 12 oíclock, the arrange ginger garlic blanched green beans, the chili hoisin sauce bowl clockwise around your plate.
Cooking:
1. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok until smoking-hot. Add the onion and stir-fry for thirty seconds until slightly softened, then add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry a further thirty seconds.
2. Keeping the heat as high as possible, add the blanched green beans and stir-fry one to two minutes until the beans have blistered around the edges. Add the chilli and chilli hoisin, bring to a vigorous boil and continue to cook, stirring, for a further one to two minutes until the sauce has reduced and is just coating the beans.
3. Remove from the heat and spoon into a large bowl. Serve.

                                                                                                                                                       
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