The dried bark of the cassia tree (Cinnamomum cassia) is one of the ingredients of five spice powder. Cassia is related to and similar to the better known cinnamon, a native of Sri Lanka. An alternative name for cassia, Bastard Cinnamon provides a clue that, outside of China at least, it is considered inferior to cinnamon, the flavour being more pungent, not as sweet and delicate, and slightly bitter. What is sold as cinnamon is often actually cassia. Cassia bark is also used in traditional Chinese medicine.
People tend to pigeonhole the wok as an instrument of stir frying. It seems to have been developed specifically for that use; that is the job it does to perfection. Yet this uniquely shaped cooking pot handles at least adequately: frying, deep frying, braising, stewing, boiling, smoking, steaming, and soup making … more