I have to admit that my New Year’s Resolution of’New Year, New Me’ has already floundered. Dry January has turned into’Drink Every Day January’, the one-month free gym membership has expired, perhaps never to be revisited, and the dark Winter days frequently results in me seeking out one of the many succulent street food vendors that proliferate in my part of town.
Now I’m not sure about you, despite my adoration for the wonderful Ching, I can’t be alone in feeling like this could have the potential to be yet another beautiful chef harping on about the’ease of cooking yourself to a glowing new you’ with a simple’chia-seeded, matcha-powdered’ complex menu.
Interestingly, I must say, I found myself eating my words (pun absolutely intended).
You see, Ching’s recipes are both exquisitely appetising and yet healthy and nutritious enough to tick the box of any well-disciplined/attempting-to-be-disciplined diet watcher.
Upon entering, I was greeted by a delectable plate of her free-range chicken wontons with a succulent, homemade ginger and soy dip. Not to mention these gorgeously-mini duck wraps with the good ole’ classic plum sauce. These honestly, were little parcels of Heaven on a plate (as well as gluten free and low calorie I discovered on my third round).
Mid-tasting, Ching called us over to the hobs to demonstrate the versatility of her Lotus Wok. I recall seeing her on television with the legend that is Ken Hom extolling the wonders of the wok but until this demonstration I had not realised that you really can use it for cooking virtually anything.
The Lotus Wok is rather romantically so-called because, like a Lotus Leaf the coating is hydrophobic which makes it incredibly easy to clean, and the nano-silica coating allows the oil to permeate the (oleophilic) surface giving the food the authentic Asian taste of a traditional wok.
Unlike many modern woks it is suitable for use on all hob types, including my rather irritating induction hob at home, and ceramic. To demonstrate its versatility Ching produced a couple of recipes from her new book.
Firstly a veg-tastic stir fry with broccoli, carrots, edamame beans, kale, smoked tofu, brown rice and egg. I have often had problems cooking tofu, regularly producing rubbery, tasteless chunks, but Ching explained that I had cooked it for too long and this wok enables speedy cooking at extremely high heat (up to 400°C).
The result was delicious, filling and healthy. The second recipe,’Soy Kale and Chicken’ coated in soy sauce, garlic, ginger and chilli was so tasty and the two dishes took a matter of minutes to produce.
The book is jam-packed with recipes which, with little planning, can be produced in no time and which will more than satisfy any craving for hot, tasty and healthily low-calorie fast food.
It looks as if my New Year’s Resolution can be reinstated after all. Ching, you’ve converted me into a fully-fledged lover of the humble wok! I will (try to) make you proud.
Ching He Huang’s Lotus Wok from JML is priced at £49.99 from 8th February at JMLdirect.com. Set includes the following:
· Carbon Steel Wok
· Dome lid
· Steamer rack
· Ching He Huang’s wooden spatula and chopsticks
· Free copy of Ching’s Eat Clean recipe book (worth £16.99)