As a Chinese American, the looming extinction of the carbon-steel wok makes me sad. I’ve been called the wok evangelist, the stir-fry guru and the wok doctor. When I travel, I carry my wok onto flights, subjecting me to enhanced scrutiny from Homeland Security. But when I lecture and teach, my wok is at my side—or on the flame and I can be sure that every time I stir-fry in my wok, I’m going to get that magical aroma and sear that would make my dad proud.
Grace Young is a three-time IACP award-winning writer, including the Jane Grigson Award for distinguished scholarship. Her most recent cookbook, Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge (Simon & Schuster, 2010), won a 2011 James Beard Award and was a finalist for the IACP International Cookbook Award. She lives in New York City.
Photo credit: Joshua Paul