wok cooking

Loyal readers to the blog know that I went through a phase this summer where I used my wok for almost all my cooking.   If I may say so myself, the meals were really good and they were pretty easy to make.  I think there’s a misconception that Asian cooking is hard.  What makes it more a “challenge” is that there’s a bit of prep required (and sometimes the ingredients are tougher to find), but once you slice and dice, the cooking time is quick.

All of this is to tell you that I’m back to using my wok so expect to see more recipes.  Here’s my recipe for Singapore Noodles.  This makes about 3-4 servings. 

  • 4 oz of rice vermicelli
  • peanut oil
  • 15-20 peeled raw shrimp, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of Chinese BBQ shredded pork (I didn’t have any so I left it out)
  • 2 TBSP curry
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 container of shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup of green beans, sliced the longway in half (you’ll see I just cut them in half which is fine, but it’s not as pretty)
  • 1 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp dried chili pepper, chopped

Put the dried vermicelli in hot water and “cook” for 5-7 minutes.  Drain once the noodles very well and let dry on a towel.  

Heat the wok and put 1 tsp of oil.  Swirl the oil around so it covers the wok and then cook the shrimp.  Once the shrimp is cooked, remove and set aside. 

Homemade Singapore Noodles

Now put another 1 tsp of oil in the hot wok.  Add the garlic, mushrooms, and curry for 1-2 minutes.  You may need to add 1 TBSP of water so they don’t stick to the wok.  

Homemade Singapore Noodles

Now add the green beans, soy sauce, and chili peppers and keep stirring until softened. 

Homemade Singapore Noodles

Once everything is cooked, mix the noodles and the veggies and shrimp together.  Serve and enjoy!  BTW, I think this meal tastes even better after a few days.  The flavors were able to marinate together and made it so good.

Homemade Singapore Noodles  Homemade Singapore Noodles  Homemade Singapore Noodles

Incredibly easy, this is a good dish.  There’s no strong flavors so I think it’d work for anyone.  But next time, I’d add a couple of dried chilies for heat.

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 lb very thinly sliced beef
  • 2 TBSP toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 can of bamboo shoots, drained
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 TBSP fish sauce
  • 1 bunch of green onions, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 2-3 hot chilies chopped (opt)

If you haven’t already toasted your sesame seeds, now is a good time to do that.  Heat the wok high and add sesame seeds (don’t add any oil — make sure the wok is completely dry).  Keep mixing so the seeds don’t burn until they’re brown.   Now move the sesame seeds to a bowl and set aside. 

Now put the vegetable oil and add the beef in the wok until the pink is almost gone.  Then transfer to a bowl.

Sesame Beef and Bamboo Shoots

Now add the bamboo shoots until brown and if needed, another 1 tsp of vegetable oil. 

Then add the garlic, fish sauce, green onions, chilies (opt), and beef.  Keep stirring until it’s all cooked. 

Serve hot with rice.

Sesame Beef and Bamboo Shoots

I think it’s about time really, don’t you?  I mean, I have been ordering it from every restaurant. 

So I was looking forward to trying this bulgogi recipe since there were a lot of comments from people saying this was truly authentic.  I don’t know why, but I thought bulgogi was going to be tough to make, but it wasn’t!  It’s very simple!

Like others, I omitted the salt and carrots.  I also increased the sugar to 2 tsp.  I added 2 chopped dried chilies.  The ingredients marinaded overnight and since I didn’t have a grill, I used my wok. 

Homemade Bulgogi  Homemade Bulgogi  Homemade Bulgogi

Cooked until the beef was done and serve over rice.  I like this one much better than most places since the beef I used was very lean.  It was a great combination of spicy and sweet.

I will definitely make this again!

I know you’re supposed to use kaffir lime leaves, but I couldn’t find any.  So I substituted lime juice.  BTW, this is an adaptation from a recipe I found in a book.

  • 1 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 2 TBSP red curry paste
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves (1 TBSP lime juice)
  • 1 lb boneless pork sliced thinly
  • 2 1/2 TBSP chicken stock or water
  • .5 lb of green beans, cleaned and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 TBSP sugar
  • 1 1/2 TBSP fish sauce

Cut the pork into very thin layers.  I used the filet knife again.  To help with the slicing, put the pork into the freezer for 30-1 hour until it’s firm, but not frozen solid. 

Stir Fry Pork with Red Curry Paste

Heat the wok and put in the vegetable oil, red curry paste, and lime leaves.  Keep stirring and don’t let it burn! 

Stir Fry Pork with Red Curry Paste

Add the pork and chicken stock until almost cooked.  Then add the green beans, sugar, and fish sauce.  Keep stirring and cooking until the beans are softer (which is about 5-10 minutes).  The green beans should still be crunchy. 

Stir Fry Pork with Red Curry Paste

You can serve it plain or with rice. 

To be honest, I didn’t love this recipe.  I thought it was good, but it didn’t knock my socks off like the Asian Pepper Beef.  Maybe it was the lack of heat and the absense of the kaffir lime leaves?

Well, you’re supposed to make it with pork, but I went with extra lean ground turkey and thought it was delicious! 

It’s very simple and quick wok cooking.  It’s also healthy!  Perfect!

  • 2 tsp peanut oil
  • 1.5 lb ground turkey/pork/chicken/beef
  • 1 can water chestnuts, drained and minced
  • 1 can of bamboo shoots, drained and minced
  • 3-4 stalks of green onions
  • 2 TBSP dry sherry
  • 1 TBSP soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP sesame oil
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 cup of snow peas, coarsely chopped
  • lettuce leaves (Romaine lettuce, Endive, etc — although I used cabbage since I had some leftover in my fridge)
  • fresh mint, chopped


  • 2 TBSP plum sauce
  • 1 TBSP hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce

Heat the oil in a pan and cook the turkey until brown.  Add the water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, and green onion and keep mixing for a minute.  Add the remaining ingredients expect the lettuce and mint (and sauce ingredients), mix, and cook for a couple of minutes.  Then I put the cabbage leaves on top while it was cooking to steam for a couple of minutes and soften a little bit.  I still wanted it to be crunchy though so seriously, only a couple minutes.

Turkey San Choy Bau  Turkey San Choy Bau

For the sauce, add all together with 1 TBSP of water.  To serve, put 1 TBSP of turkey mix on each lettuce leaf and sprinkle with mint.  Serve with sauce for dipping. 

Turkey San Choy Bau

Plus, it makes great leftovers.  I re-heated the extras at work and put the filling into a flour tortilla.  It was a Turkey San Choy Bau wrap!

I made this grilled shrimp rice noodle bowl which was delicious! 

My modifications were:

  • 1 TBSP of peanut oil, no olive oil
  • No cabbage (but could have added baby bok choy too)
  • Black pepper (no white)
  • Added 2 TBSP of crushed unsalted peanuts

Grilled Shrimp Rice Noodles  Grilled Shrimp Rice Noodles

So again, cookbooks have multiple glass noodle soup recipes.  But here’s the compilation of all of them:

  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup white/yellow onion
  • 2 TBSP green onion/scallions chopped
  • 1 can of drained straw mushrooms
  • 1 10 oz rice noodles
  • 2 1/2 TBSP fish sauce
  • 1/2 uncooked clean shrimp, chopped
  • 3/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1/4 chopped cilantro

First, cook the rice noodles.  I know you’re supposed to put the noodles into water and let them soak for 2-4 hours, but I think the noodles are too tough.  So I prefer boiling water and then putting in the rice noodles for 5-10 minutes.  You can also boil the water, add noodles, and then remove from heat with a cover for 5-10 minutes.

Then combine the pork, 2 TBSP cilantro, and 1 minced garlic clove into golf ball sized balls. 

Glass Noodle with Pork Cilantro Balls

Put the chicken stock into the wok and heat.  Once simmering, add the remaining cilantro and pork balls. 

Glass Noodle with Pork Cilantro Balls

Reduce the heat when the pork is almost done cooking.  Add the shrimp, white/yellow onion, mushrooms, cooked noodles, scallions, fish sauce, and sugar. 

Glass Noodle with Pork Cilantro Balls

Mix and serve.  It’s seriously delicious. 

Glass Noodle Soup with Pork Cilantro Balls

Yum, healthy chicken stir fry.  Seriously, I love this stuff.  Anyway, I have these cookbooks and all of them have various types of chicken stir fry.  So I grabbed various ideas from all of them and created my own easy chicken stir fry.

Stir Fry Chicken

  • 1/2 TBSP cornstarch
  • 2 tsp chopped ginger (I used the jar of sliced ginger in its own brine)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic cloves
  • 3 dried chilies, chopped
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 TBSP low salt soy sauce
  • 2 chicken breast, sliced thin

Mix together with finely sliced chicken and let marinade for 15 minutes


  • 1 tsp peanut oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp of minced garlic
  • 1 can of drained baby corn, cut lengthwise and half
  • 4 baby bok choy, cut lengthwise and half
  • 1/2 TBSP of cornstarch
  • 6 TBSP of soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup of chicken stock
  • 2 TBSP cashews or peanuts (OPT)

With a hot wok, add peanut oil, onion, and garlic.  Add the chicken until it’s almost cooked through.  Add the baby corn and bok choy (until wilted).  Now mix the last four ingredients (soy sauce, corn starch, oyster sauce, and chicken stock) and add to wok.  Stir fry until the sauce has thickened to coating consistency and the chicken is cooked.  

Stir Fry Chicken  Stir Fry Chicken  Stir Fry Chicken  Stir Fry Chicken  Stir Fry Chicken  Stir Fry Chicken

I put them over noodles (yes, spaghetti.  I ran out of rice noodles!).  But you could also use rice instead too.  If you add cashews or peanuts, add to the top of each plate.  Yum!

I am using several cookbooks so I can learn how to make authentic Asian dishes — and then eventually turn the recipes into my own.

One of my cookbooks had this recipe for stir-fry lamb with mint and chili.   While I wasn’t able to find a recipe that’s identical to the one in my cookbook, I did find this one which was somewhat like it

Perhaps a few modifications I’d make would be to increase the oyster sauce amount that’s in the recipe to 1/2 cup and 2 1/2 tsp of fish sauce.  You can also omit the nuroc cham.   

I really loved this dish and it’s incredibe simplicity.  I had rice noodles underneath and it was delicious. 

Stir-fry Lamb with Mint and Chili  Stir-fry Lamb with Mint and Chili Stir-fry Lamb with Mint and Chili

But whatever you do, for God’s sake, don’t overcook the rice noodles!  Otherwise, they get mushy and really gross. 

I will absolutely be making this again!

UPDATE: I was eating the leftovers and realized it was almost inedible due to the incredibly saltiness…it was the oyster sauce.  So this doesn’t save well if you use 1/2 cup! 

UPDATE II: I made it again but this time with NY strip steak and also modified it with only 2 TBSP of oyster sauce.  Yum.  Not as saucy, but it wasn’t salty when I ate the leftovers!  And yes, those are spaghetti noodles (I ran out of rice noodles). 

Stir Fry Beef with Chilis and Mint  Stir Fry Beef with Chilis and Mint  Stir Fry Beef with Chilis and Mint  Stir Fry Beef with Chilis and Mint