Chinese food is an extremely popular and for good reason – it’s packed with flavor. Most of us love classic dishes like chow mein, fried rice, pot stickers, and orange chicken, but only a handful of us know how to cook them. Although it might be a little intimidating at first, cooking your own Chinese food at home is doable, but you’ll need a sturdy wok and a lot of heat.
Last year our design team came up with a brilliant idea! Use the high heat of the Pizzeria Pronto Outdoor Pizza Oven to power a blazing hot wok, because woks operate best on very high heat. If you don’t believe me, check out this video. Now you can double the use of your Pronto and make even more delicious food at home.Check out the wok kit!
Using a wok is a little different than using a standard kitchen pot or pan. Woks handle high heat well and it’s recommended to heat your oil until its smoking point. This allows you to sear on your ingredients, adding flavor. The burner on the Pizzeria Pronto has roughly twice the power than a single stove burner has so you can get the temperature you need.
In addition to the added heat, a lot of wok recipes involve cooking ingredients in multiple batches. Since each ingredient cooks at its own pace you’ll need to remove and replace ingredients as needed so that everything cooks at the same rate. This process takes a little getting used to, but once you do it becomes second nature.
Szechuan Crispy Beef (Dry-Fried Beef)
Once you’ve learned how to cook in batches over extremely high heat you’ll be able to cook all your favorites at home. Dishes like kung pao chicken, chow mein, and broccoli beef can easily be made in the comfort of your own back yard. Let’s take a look at the recipe:
1 ½ lbs. skirt steak
1 ½ cups peanut oil
5 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tbsp. ginger, peeled and sliced
1 ½ cups celery, cut into ¾” sticks
1 cup dried Chinese chilies, seeded
2 tsp. Szechuan peppercorns
1 ½ tbsp. corn starch
For the sauce:
1 tbsp. tamari
1 tbsp. sherry wine
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. chianking vinegar
2 tbsp. fermented chili bean paste
- Place peppercorns into a food processor or herb grinder and pulse until ground into a fine powder.
- Cut skirt steak into 1.5” pieces, then slice meat against the grain into ¼” strips.
- Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
- Place beef in a medium sized bowl and coat thoroughly with corn starch.
- Heat peanut oil in wok until smoking hot. Fry beef in 2 – 3 batches until crispy but still pliant, about 2-3 minutes per batch. Remove beef from oil and place on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Remove most of the oil from the pan, reserving 2 tbsp. for cooking. Bring wok back to high heat. Add celery and stir fry 4-5 minutes until tender. Add garlic, ginger, and chilies then cook 15-20 seconds until fragrant.
- Add sauce, beef, and peppercorns then stir fry another 1-2 minutes until well combined. Serve immediately with steamed rice and enjoy!