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Dec 16, 2010 04:37 AM

January 2011 Cookbook of the Month WINNER

The winner(s) of the January 2011 COTM are THE BREATH OF THE WOK: Unlocking the Spirit of Chinese Wok Cooking Through Recipes and Lore & STIR-FRYING TO THE SKY'S EDGE: The Ultimate Guide to Mastery, with Authentic Recipes and Stories, Grace Young.

Please use this thread to discuss techniques, ingredients, meal planning, along with any other interesting tidbits about these books and recipes.

If you discover any online sources for recipes from these books, please feel free to post them.


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    1. There are a few recipes on Grace Young's Web site. I didn't double check each one, but I'm quite certain all of these recipes are from Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge.

      1. From The Breath of a Wok...

        Breath of a Wok Introduction:

        Chiu Chow-Style Pork Spring Moon

        Fried Rice with Ham, Egg, and Scallions

        Liang Nian Xiu’s Moon Hill Corn and Beans
        Seasoning a Wok: Hung Chong Chinese Chive and Oil Stir-Fry
        Jean Yueh's Shanghai-Style Shrimp

        Stir Fry Pork

        Moo Shoo Pork (adaptation

        Grace Young's website with recipes:

        Thank You, SMT...!

        1. From Stir-Frying To the Sky's Edge...

          Stir-Fried Clams with Spicy Bean Sauce Recipe

          Stir-Fried Squid with Black Bean Sauce

          Stir-Fried Lotus Root with Bacon and Vegetables

          Wok-Seared Vegetables

          Stir-Fried Chicken with Black Bean Sauce Recipe

          Stir-Fried Chicken with Carrots and Mushrooms

          Spicy Orange Chicken

          Kung Pao Chicken

          Crabmeat Fried Rice

          Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy with Sichuan Pepper and Salt

          Squid with Black Bean Sauce

          Stir-Fried Ginger Tomato Beef (2 pages

          Beef chow fun

          Classic Dry-Fried Pepper and Salt Shrimp
          Stir-Fried Ginger Broccoli

          Stir-Fried Ginger Beef,
          Stir-Fried Sugar Snap Peas With Shitake Mushrooms,
          Velvet Chicken With Asparagus,
          Stir-Fried Chili Scallops With Baby Bok Choy

          Grace Young on The Simple Stir-Fry

          2 Replies
            1. re: Gio

              I've bought this cookbook but haven't read it yet - so excited about it being one of this month's selections!!

            2. Thank you, smtucker. Very exciting! I just picked up a copy of Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge and already love it, even though, naturally, I haven't cooked from it yet. She met with Chinese homecooks from around the world to learn how they've adapted stir fry to their environments. So, you get a discussion on Jamaican Jerk Chicken stir fry, for instance, and, of course, American Chop Suey. Lots of classic dishes in there, too, I think.

              Also, she says that since she was writing this book for the home cook, and she knows we don't have the big powerful stove-tops that restaurants have, she tested all of the recipes on both a flat-bottomed wok and a 12-inch skillet. So, even if you do not own a wok (which I do not), you can cook many of the recipes in the book. She says there are a few recipes she couldn't get to work in the 12-inch skillet. For those, she will tell you in the headnotes that for this particular recipe, you really need a wok.

              Finally, I was delighted to find that many (not all of course) recipes call for only 2 TBSP of oil, which is pretty diet-friendly. (Many of the recipes serve 2 as a main dish with rice.)

              It is currently on sale for $14 "bargain price" at Amazon, for anyone who is interested.


              22 Replies
              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                This book sounds great, and I can't wait to read the reports. Probably end up buying it, if the recipes turn out well.

                1. re: LulusMom

                  I read Stir-frying to the Sky's Edge last night and loved it - earmarked about a dozen recipes. It is so full of useful information; there was no actually recipe until page 50 or so. You can't go wrong using a wok if you pay attention to her instructions! It's brilliant and I may get her other book(s). I have a wok and hope to start trying some of her recipes later this week!

                  1. re: bayoucook

                    I am equally enthusiastic about this book and author. My wok is en route. :).


                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                      Did you get one like the author recommended? This is going to be fun.

                      1. re: bayoucook

                        Yes, of course! :) I bought it on Amazon. Same as JoanN's (she provided a link SOMEWHERE in this thread), but with the lid. I also bought a bunch of the accessories Young recommended. The various vegetable slicers, the spatula, the skimmer, etc.


                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          Oooh! Oooh! I want the vegetable slicers! Tried to julienne celery in the food processor the other evening. Un-unh. Wasn't gonna happen. I *need* those slicers, don't I?

                          1. re: JoanN

                            Of course you do! And which wok did you buy that TDQ also bought? I've had mine for 26 years and may buy a new one.....(still got some Christmas cash).

                            1. re: bayoucook

                              My first wok, inherited from a friend, lasted me more than 10 years. No idea how long he'd had it before me. In the end, the wok was still fine, but the handle had broken off. I replaced it about a year or so ago with a wooden-handled, flat-bottomed, 14-inch carbon steel wok with a wooden helper handle. It was just something I picked up inexpensively in Chinatown, but it turns out to be exactly the wok Young recommends in Stir-Frying. Although now that I've read Breath of a Wok I'm coveting one of those hand-hammered woks as well. Maybe if I just buy the vegetable slicers that covetous feeling will pass? Ya think?

                                1. re: JoanN

                                  ***GOOD DEAL ALERT FOR THOSE OF YOU LOOKING FOR A WOK AND/OR A BOOK***

                                  JoanN, I don't think this will help you much since I think you already have your copy of S-FTTSE but The Wok Shop is offering a 10'' hand-hammed wok PLUS a copy of S-FTTSE for $35. The hand-hammered wok is apparently normally priced at $50. So, if you haven't really used Amazon copy of the book, you could return it and get the Wok Shop deal instead.

                                  I meant to tell everyone about this deal at the Wok Shop, but I misunderstood it the first time I read it and didn't think it was a very good deal. Now that S-FTTSE is no longer on sale on Amazon for $14, I think the Wok Shop deal is a great deal.



                                  1. re: JoanN

                                    JoanN: Get one of the little Japanese jobs at Kam Man, there's one that has a julienner, v cheap and handy.

                                    1. re: buttertart

                                      Exactly what I had in mind. Sometime after the thaw.

                                2. re: JoanN

                                  I think anything that's going to make it easier and faster to prep vegetables is a must-have! That way, you'll eat more of them, or, that's my theory!


                                3. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  TDQ, I don't see the slicer recommendations in Breath of a Wok -- would you mind sharing? My knife skills are definitely not up to par and I might just *need* these too.

                                  1. re: mebby

                                    Of course. Mine just arrived, actually. I seem to have come down with a cold, so, I'm resisting the urge to run out to the grocery store for stuff to stir-fry and just resting instead, so I haven't had a chance to try them, but they seem very sturdy and well-made.

                                    Kuhn Rikon Julienne Peeler with Blade Protector

                                    Green Onion Negi Cutter #4235


                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                      Thanks -- and I hope you feel better!

                            2. re: bayoucook

                              I'll be reading along and cooking vicariously!

                          2. re: The Dairy Queen

                            I already have my New Year's Eve thinking cap on. There are several recipes from S-FTTSE that will be perfect for us. It's going to be difficult to choose.

                            1. re: Gio

                              I think I recall the book has a sidebar on symbolism of dishes for Chinese New Year. Might be fun to pick some of those for NYE!


                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                Thanks for the suggestion. I ordered Stir-Frying and it's on its way to me as I type. This will be the third year we make our own NYE Chinese dinner instead of take-away. Before that and cooking from COTMs I wouldn't have dreamed of making Any Asian food in house. This is Sooooo much better in every way.

                              2. re: Gio

                                The sidebar listing certain ingredients and the symbolism for each is on page 194, eg., shrimp=happiness and laughter. Noodles=longevity, etc.