By virtue of being the choice of 1.3 billion people, Chinese cuisine is certainly the world's most popular cuisine. But the popularity of Chinese food extends way beyond China's frontiers. Twenty-three million Taiwanese also sustain themselves on Chinese food. The 35 million ethnic Chinese settled in far flung locales around the globe have ensured that Chinese food often reigns supreme in the ethnic minority food markets of many other countries too. There are over 40,000 Chinese eateries in the United States alone. That's more shopfronts than McDonald's have worldwide. What town in the US (and many other countries) large enough to support a few eateries doesn't have at least one Chinese take-away?
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