Grace Young
Grace Young

Grace Young

Title: Freelancer

Location: New York, NY

Education: University of California, Berkeley

Expertise: Wok cookery, Chinese cuisine, healthy cooking

Experience

Grace Young is an award-winning cookbook author, culinary historian and Chinatown activist. Named the "poet laureate of the wok" by food historian Betty Fussell, Grace has devoted her career to preserving the traditional iron wok and demystifying the ancient cooking utensil for use in contemporary kitchens. With the growing popularity of nonstick cookware, the wok is an endangered culinary tool. She is the first food writer to write extensively about wok hei, the Cantonese term for a stir-fry imbued with the wok's unique fragrance and flavor. Grace's translation of wok hei as "breath of a wok," which she coined in The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen, is now a part of the Western culinary vocabulary. She is also the author of the cookbooks Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge and The Breath of a Wok—which was honored as a Culinary Classic by the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

Grace's work has been featured in The Washington Post and The New York Times and on CBS Sunday Morning. She has appeared as a guest on Sara's Weeknight Meals and The Martha Stewart Show, and her work has been featured in Cook's Illustrated, America's Test Kitchen, Food52, Epicurious, Vogue, Bon Appétit, the Kitchn, Serious Eats, Chow, Food & Wine, Fine Cooking, Saveur, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Edible Communities and Serious Eats.

Grace is the co-founder of Wok Wednesdays, an online stir-fry cooking group. She has taught healthy stir-frying in cooking schools and spas throughout the U.S., and her popular online class, "The Art of Stir-Frying" on Craftsy, has reached more than 12,000 students.

Healthy cooking has been a primary focus throughout Grace's career. She was the test kitchen director for the U.C. Berkeley Wellness Cooking School and has written for Shape, Men's Health, Women's Health, Fitness, Health, Cooking Light and Diabetic Living magazines.

She has been a fierce advocate for Chinatown, never more so than in her video series Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories, produced in collaboration with videographer Dan Ahn and the Poster House museum. Grace is currently partnering with the James Beard Foundation and Poster House on the #LoveAAPI social media campaign to counter anti-Asian hate. Dubbed the "accidental voice for Chinatown" by Grub Street, she has been fighting for the survival of Chinatowns and Asian American and Pacific Islander mom-and-pop businesses across the country, and her efforts have been chronicled in the media, including in The Washington Post and on PBS NewsHour, Today.com and CNN.

Grace has won six IACP awards, including the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award. She has been honored several times by the James Beard Foundation Awards, and is the recipient of the 2022 Humanitarian of the Year Award as well as the 2022 Julia Child Award.

Grace is a member of Les Dames New York and the New York Women's Culinary Alliance.

About EatingWell

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Chinese American cookbook author Grace Young shares her doable (and tasty) tips for helping your favorite businesses—just in case you need an excuse to stock your freezer with dumplings and get more takeout.
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Celebrate the Year of the Ox with Grace Young’s delectable—and auspicious—lo mein with pork and vegetables.
Serve this spicy pork-and-vegetable lo mein for Chinese New Year or for dinner anytime. While some cooks like to cut the noodles into 6- to 8-inch lengths to make them easier to combine with other ingredients, for the New Year the noodles can never be cut because that symbolizes bad luck. The longer the noodles, the longer your life! Be sure to thinly slice the pork and mushrooms so they cook through. And thoroughly dry the bok choy to avoid creating a braise instead of a stir-fry. Read more about this recipe.
Chinese American cookbook author Grace Young shares why she always makes a centerpiece of tangerines, oranges and pomelos to celebrate Chinese New Year.
This shrimp stir-fry has bright flavors from sugar snap peas, garlic and ginger and comes together in less than a half-hour for a quick, healthy meal.
This fried rice variation uses riced cauliflower instead of traditional rice to lower the calories and carbs. You can adjust the amount of chile-garlic sauce according to taste.
Chicken Fajita Stir-Fry
Rating: Unrated
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A wok makes easy work of chicken and vegetables in this quick variation on fajitas. You can serve this with rice or beans on the side, if desired.
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Stir-Fried Pork Piccata
Rating: Unrated
New!
In this variation on Italian piccata, we cook thin strips of pork in a wok. Lemon juice is a critical component of classic pork piccata, but you can't add it to a carbon-steel wok because it will strip the patina. We call for lemon wedges to be served on the side instead.
This vibrant, colorful dish is great for those who love a little heat. Adjust the amount of chile-garlic sauce according to your preferred heat level. To smash ginger, use the side of a chef's knife or the flat bottom of a sturdy mug. Serve with rice, if desired.
Chicken Fajita Stir-Fry
Rating: Unrated
New!
A wok makes easy work of chicken and vegetables in this quick variation on fajitas. You can serve this with rice or beans on the side, if desired.
Stir-Fried Pork Piccata
Rating: Unrated
New!
In this variation on Italian piccata, we cook thin strips of pork in a wok. Lemon juice is a critical component of classic pork piccata, but you can't add it to a carbon-steel wok because it will strip the patina. We call for lemon wedges to be served on the side instead.
This vibrant, colorful dish is great for those who love a little heat. Adjust the amount of chile-garlic sauce according to your preferred heat level. To smash ginger, use the side of a chef's knife or the flat bottom of a sturdy mug. Serve with rice, if desired.
In this healthy Asian vegetable stir-fry recipe, watercress is cooked then tossed with traditional Chinese oyster sauce. Use a salad spinner so the watercress is dry to the touch, or the stir-fry will become too wet. If the watercress is young and tender, stir-fry the whole stems. If the stem ends are woody and tough, discard them.
Napa--also known as Chinese cabbage--is the preferred cabbage in this healthy Asian stir-fry recipe because it's much sweeter and more tender than green cabbage. If napa cabbage isn't available at your grocery store, try Savoy cabbage or bok choy.
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Chinese Chive Pancakes
Rating: Unrated
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In this traditional Chinese pancake recipe, chives are added for a pretty green hue and savory flavor. Serve as an appetizer with a soy dipping sauce or use like a tortilla for chicken or pork that's been marinated in ginger and soy sauce. The amount of water needed for the dough will vary depending on the type of flour and the humidity.
This eclectic stir-fry is a colorful combination of carrot, red bell pepper, corn and romaine lettuce. This recipe exemplifies how to stir-fry vegetables with different textures. The carrots, which are a “hard vegetable,” should be stir-fried for a minute before adding “medium-hard” vegetables like peppers or corn, which require slightly less cooking. Finally, add “soft or leafy vegetables” in the last 30 seconds to ensure all the vegetables achieve the same level of doneness. Make sure the lettuce is dry--if it's wet when added to the pan, it will turn the stir-fry into a braise.
A hit of Sriracha gives a sweet and spicy edge to this healthy vegetarian recipe. Traditional lo mein is made with fresh lo mein noodles, which can be found in Asian markets. You can also use fresh or dried linguine noodles--fresh linguine is in the refrigerated section of some grocery stores. This easy dinner comes together in just 30 minutes, so it's perfect for weeknights.
Shrimp & Egg Fried Rice
Rating: Unrated
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This healthy egg, vegetable and shrimp fried rice comes together in about 30 minutes for a delicious dinner you can make any day of the week. Fried rice is traditionally made with leftover rice cooked a day ahead; this recipe simplifies the process by cooking the rice together with the rest of the meal.
Here's an easy chicken recipe you'll definitely want to add to your dinner repertoire. A quick marinade tenderizes the chicken and infuses flavor in this stir fry. Adding a little oil to finish the marinade coats the chicken and helps keep it from sticking to the pan.
All the ingredients for this easy beef stir-fry recipe are cooked in one wok (or skillet), so not only is the meal-prep fast for this healthy dinner, cleanup is quick too. Look for Lee Kum Kee Premium oyster-flavored sauce in the Asian-foods aisle of your grocery store. It has the most concentrated oyster flavor. 
Spicy Vegetable Lo Mein
Rating: Unrated
1
Skip takeout and make a healthier Chinese lo mein at home that's packed with vegetables. Make sure you drain your noodles well before adding them, as wet noodles will turn your stir-fry into a soggy mess. For a less spicy option, omit the sriracha hot sauce.
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