Today, we wanted to take a break from our
usual recipe driven videos and really zero in on stir-fry technique. We’ll show you four different ways that
you can stir-fry – first, a basic ingredient by ingredient stir-fry… second, how you’d do the same thing only
without a wok… third, how you’d stir fry with all the ingredients together… and finally,
the common restaurant technique of pre-cooking the meat with a brief deep fry. To minimize confusion, we’ll be showing
all this with one dish – a simple, classic homecooking stir fry of pork and chilis called
Qingjiao Rousi. But before we get into it, a quick word on
heat source. See, if you talk to a lot of people in the
West, they’ll insist that it’s impossible to stir fry without a high powered restaurant
stove, which, to be frank, is… nonsense. This is the little burner we use for these
videos, and this is the flame it makes. No jet engine here, if I’ve done my math
right it’s a shade under 10 thousand BTUs… by comparison, a Western home stove usually
clocks in at around 7 thousand, a Chinese home stove, 14 thousand, a Western professional
range 30 thousand, and… and those Chinese restaurant jet engines, 100 thousand or even
higher. Those stoves are cool, but much more important
is your technique. So don’t fret if you’ve got a wimpy range,
you’re still well in the margin of error. So to get started, we’re using 150 grams
of pork loin. Pork is.. vastly easier to work with than
beef or chicken, so if you’re new to stir frying, start with pork. Now we’ll be slicing this into slivers against
the grain. The grain is the direction of the muscle fibers…
what you wanna do is slice down perpendicular to those fibers. So first cut into the pork to get roughly
2 millimeter wide sheets, and for some stir fries you’d stop there, but for this one
we’ll stack all those up and cut into them about 3 millimeters apart to get some… slivers. Transfer that over to a bowl, and we can marinate. This sort of marination’s sometimes called
velveting in English … and it is critical to a good stir fry. For this amount of meat we’ll add in a quarter
teaspoon salt and a half teaspoon sugar… this makes the meat juicer just like a dry
brine would. We’ll also toss in a half teaspoon liaojiu
a.k.a. Shaoxing wine… if you can’t find this sort of wine, most people suggest dry
sherry but I’d personally reach for some sort of rice wine instead. Next up is a half teaspoon cornstarch – this’s
crucially important as it’ll coat the pork and prevent moisture loss… and I personally
mix the starch with the wine before tossing them in to prevent clumps. Then to season, we’ll add in a quarter teaspoon
soy sauce… here we’re using dark soy sauce for color but regular soy sauce would work
just fine. Once that’s all combined, squirt in about
a teaspoon of oil and coat all that well and set it aside for at least 15 minutes to marinate. For this particular stir fry, we’ll be frying
that pork together with 100 grams of chilis. We live in China, so these are Sichuan erjingtiao
chilis… but feel free to use whatever’s convenient and tasty where you live. Julienne some poblanos, anaheims, jalapenos,
green bell peppers… really whatever. For aromatics, we’ve got an inch of ginger…
smash it, julienne, then get into a fine mince… and two cloves of garlic… smashed, julienned,
and gotten into a fine mince. And now, to stir fry. So a nice first step to a stir fry is a technique
called “Longyau”, or “Huaguo” in Mandarin… it’s a restaurant technique that’ll get
you a nice slippery frying surface. In restaurants before frying, they’ll heat
their wok til it’s super hot, add in some oil, swirl it around, and drain it into a
dedicated side oil bowl. We know most people don’t keep an extra
oil bowl lying around their kitchen, so instead we like to get our wok piping hot, about steak
searching temperature, shut off the heat, add in the oil we need to fry with, so here
about two tablespoons, and give it a swirl to get a nice non-stick surface. So with your flame on high now, toss in the
marinated pork slivers. Break them apart with some chopsticks cuz
slivers tend to clump, and fry for about one minute until 90% done. This step by step stir-fry helps ensure each
ingredient is perfectly cooked, so once the color’s visibly turned, set that aside. Now do another longyau with about one or two
tablespoons of oil, and immediately after finishing toss in the garlic and the ginger
over the same high heat. You want to add your aromatics basically seconds
after adding the oil or else they can burn on you. After about 15 seconds, pour a tablespoon
of liaojiu or your wine of choice over your spatula and around the sides of the wok. This’ll cool everything down, so quick mix,
and go in with the chilis. Fry those for about 30 seconds, then add back
the pork. Quick 15 second fry, then season with a teaspoon
of soy sauce and a quarter teaspoon of salt. Give it a brief toss if you can, shut off
the heat, and drizzle in a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil. Quick mix, and… out. Pork and chilis, done. Now suppose you don’t own a wok. I like woks and so should you, but you can
still stir-fry without one. This is a 28 centimeter non-stick wok, which’s
basically a glorified non-stick skillet. This’s all more or less the same, only no
need to really do that whole longyau routine. Just heat stuff up like you’re used to,
high heat, and add in the oil. Pork in, same one minute fry, and reserve. Then with the flame back on high, swirl in
a touch of cool oil, and toss in the aromatics. 15 second fry, then swirl in that liaojiu
wine… this’ll annoyingly be kinda messy which’s why woks are better. Toss in your sliced chilis, fry that for about
45 seconds… tossing’ll help the pan cook it more evenly but it takes a touch longer. Then go in with the pork and fry for about
30 seconds, and season with your teaspoon of soy sauce and quarter teaspoon of salt. Quick toss, heat off, teaspoon toasted sesame
oil, brief mix, and… out. No wok, same exact thing, just a touch more
kitchen to scrub down after. Now if you’ve ever eaten on the street in
China, usually you find that vendors don’t cook in stages, but instead do everything
in one pot. Still dead simple to execute. Same exact method of stir-frying that pork,
but once it’s about 80% finished, scooch it up the side of the wok. Add a touch of cool oil, aromatics in, fry
for 15 seconds then mix everything together. Add your wine over the spatula and around
the sides of the wok… chilis in, 30 second fry, seasoning in, quick toss, heat off. Sprinkle in your sesame oil, give it a mix,
and… out. Finally, let’s talk about the deep frying
method. This technique is also called passing through
oil, is a go-to method for restaurants, and makes for super juicy, tender meat. For this one, we’ll also crack a half an
egg white into the marinade, which further tenderizes our pork. Egg white marinades tend to stick to the wok
if you’re using one of the previous methods, but work brilliantly while deep frying. So in a round bottomed wok, get about a cup
or so of oil up until 180 centigrade and toss in the marinated pork. Fry that for about twenty seconds… round
bottomed woks are awesome for deep frying, but you could also use a little more oil and
shallow fry in a pan instead. Pour out the oil, and reserve the pork. Now I figure some of you might want to know
how to add a sauce to your stir-fry, so let’s make one real quick. To three tablespoons of water add in a half
teaspoon of stock concentrate, or alternatively just use stock if you got some on hand. Add in your seasoning… so here that was
our quarter teaspoon salt and our teaspoon of soy sauce. Then in a separate bowl make a slurry of a
half tablespoon cornstarch and just enough water to let it come together, about one teaspoon. If you want a saucier stir-fry, add more stock
and cornstarch… if you just want a touch of sheen, add less. So go through the motions just like we did
before, but when you’d add the seasoning lower the flame to medium and add the sauce
instead. Quick mix, then go in with the slurry. And once that’s thickened up, about 15 seconds,
take it out. Qingjiao rousi, done.

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Methew Wade

100 thoughts on “Stir Frying 101, Chinese Stir Fry Techniques Using Pork and Chili (青椒肉丝)”

  1. Looks great. Would be a bit worried about the amount of salt used, especially if the soy sauce is also salty on top but then again it's up to personal preference and choice. At the end, about the sauce, this is concentrate of what exactly?
    Also: Chinese teaspoons seem to be 2×3 times the size of European teaspoon. Maybe the equivalent to a European ground coffee spoon.

  2. Are those canister burners safe?
    In India hundred, if not thousands, of women are horribly burnt every year by ‘cooker accidents’
    Now, a LOT of research suggests these horrifying statistics are dowry or no-divorce murders, but it scares the fuck out of me that these burners & canisters might blow up
    It just takes one dodgy seal & 🔥 BLAM 🔥, you’re Game of Thrones extra crispy.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/4930195/Thousands-of-Indian-women-killed-by-fire-every-year-in-domestic-abuse.html

  3. A lot of eastern recipes heavily spice their meats because in the past they did not have refrigeration. The herbs and spices were meant to prevent spoilage, and to hide the taste of spoiled meats. Contrast this to for example, central european dishes, which use comparatively fewer spices, and do not mask the flavor as much.

    Ultimately the presence of spice also signified status, as poorer people could not afford them. Poor people had to either eat fresh meat, or no meat at all, if they didn't want to get sick.

  4. For Chinese people wok hei or I like to call it wok aroma is important and finish the dish of nicely….that's why it taste better at a good restaurant, But yes you right it doesn't matter as much nowadays as long as it taste ok

  5. The reason for the dedicated oil bowl is b/c you're heating the oil past the smoke point so it will polymerize on the cooking surface (making it "nonstick"). This also happens to make the oil not particularly good for eating; any time you see smoking oil, you should be thinking "that's gonna give me cancer". If you are cooking at home over a reasonable heat, then it'd be much better advice to just season the wok ahead of time to skip the whole "toss the oil in your dedicated oil bowl" step.

  6. I can't find Shaoxing wine easily at my local grocery stores, but I've had great results with Mirin instead.

  7. I work in a Chinese restaurant and this is very similar to how we do it. The only difference is that we will prep 30-40x that amount of meat at once, and thats just for one of the proteins we serve

  8. A technique I learned to cut meat into thin slices is to partially freeze the meat until it is frosty. The meat will remain firm as you slice and will not squish or compact upon itself like a thawed piece would. Especially useful with chicken thighs.

  9. Great video! Your method produces a delicious dish. One question: What do you do when you have company (2-4 people) for dinner and want to serve this stir-fry? Make in batches? That might work in a pinch but wouldn't be as good, I'm thinking. Any ideas?

  10. I came, I saw, I loved, I became a patron. I've been cooking with a big, round-bottom wok and a really nice outdoor burner for a few years now, but your channel has really upped my game. Thank you so much, and keep producing great videos!

  11. No. U can actually taste the.difference between those high powered stoves and low powered lame variety. Its like saying flame grilling something adds nothing to the taste of food.

  12. 5:00. U should never use high heat on that non-stick pan! That destroys the coating and worse it gets into your food.

  13. I went a bit overboard perhaps. I had one of those Butane stoves like in the video, and plan to get another , but I got a high pressure propane fryer burner that probably hits 80K-BTU. Sounds like a jet engine. But the entire wok load is done in 2 minutes! Half a 5 gallon propane bottle will last most of the year cooking three times a week.

  14. Your guy's vids are great and very informative. It makes me happy to see vids like this in english as I've never learned Chinese growing up and wished to understand the cooking my parents learned back in the home country. Also, what song is at the end? I think it's the same one Babish uses and I'm just curious what it is. Keep up the awesome content. Remember to take breaks tho 🙂

  15. Went with chicken, port wine and hazelnut oil instead of pork, a more fitting wine and sesame oil ( the latter 2 due to lack of availability) and it tastes absolutely awesome, albeit being way too hot

  16. Tried it today added a bit of chilli oil to mine. The meat came out crazy tender! Thanks for the video and tips!

  17. I love the simplicity and flavours of Chinese cooking but, I miss the finer details when I try at home. Things such as pan size, portion size and marinating and well, everything. Watching this has given me enthusiasm to experiment again with a different view to what I had. Thank you.
    Also to add, if I only cook one dish perfectly like you have, I will be happy.

  18. The jet engine is crucial, if you want to cook reasonable size dish. The slow burner is good for a small dish like this, if you want to feed 4 people, you need a big wok with Jet Engine.

  19. To anyone who want to learn stir fry, the taste of the pork in this way is really not good. The amount of oil is quite high considering such a small amount of food. If you want to feed 4 people, the amount of oil will be very high. Wrong way of cooking.

  20. U can't stir fry vegetable like Chinese restaurant do with home gas range. You need the fire power to do the speed coping and seal the juice in the vegetables

  21. U may be able to stir fry meat and chili or onion with smal power range but u just can't stir fry leafy vegetables with small power gas range

  22. Ouh! Finally a good recommended channel! Maybe this is a sign that I should try harder to impress my Teochew hubby.

  23. I'm not saying what you are doing is wrong, but why cook this dish in batches? I'd just toss in the chilies and garlic first, then the meat. Also, I don't know what chilies you are using, but the slices seem rather large so the heat will be concentrated when you chew the chilies instead of spreading evenly throughout the dish, I'd rather pound them in a mortar.

    Of course, for the "pass through oil" method cooking in batches in necessary.

  24. Go to an authentic chinese restaurant and understand what is wok hei. That super high heat and rapid tossing for that repetitive searing and cooling all around the food surface results in that unique caramelization, slightly charred-esque aromatic taste. That puny gas can cooker won't get you that wok hei, period.

  25. Anyone tell you that you sound a bit like Spike Spiegel? In celebration of this, I'd love to see your interpretation on one of his classic dishes – shiitake on ice.

  26. I believe its more the electric stove that us westerners complain about. The thing I've got is almost useless. Can barely boil a pot of water.

  27. Don't own a wok? Chick your local Asian market. Got mine for $30 and it's great. I'm lucky enough to have a choice of 3 within walking distance. I have yet to not find something I need.

  28. Bravo. I love this channel. Will be trying things out soon. We have several fairly large asian markets in our area so I am confident that I can find at least some of the correct ingredients.

  29. Can you recommend a burner for using a wok, which works with European standards? I am from Germany. Would your burner work, because of the plug?

  30. just made this for the second time
    one of the simplest dishes i've ever made
    but crazy tasty
    restaurant quality

  31. Would you ever use Baking Soda AND cornstarch? I know that often cornstarch is the coating rather than wheat flour but I'm thinking as its use for velveting? Would they work together to tenderize AND velvet or is there any interaction that negates one or the other? Same ? for Papain powder? My father used Accent Meat Tenderizer by McCormick for YEARS every time he made steak – GENEROUS coverage along with garlic, onion, salt and pepper to the point where you couldn't see meat anymore – and then he docked it all over with a fork. It really worked on cheaper cuts of meat and was delicious. Imagine my surprise as an adult to learn it's almost 100% MSG, lol. So I have much love for the MSG!

  32. Hi,
    What kind of vegetable oil do they usually cook with in china? Also, what kind of material is your wok made of? Thanks.

  33. This is honestly the most informative video that i have come across. It is very refreshing! Keep up the good work!

  34. it's helpful to hear you guys talk about wok hei – i do often feel like i'm chasing it around when cooking at home.

    the first time i seasoned my wok i followed directions of letting the wok heat up on the stove to get it rip roaring hot. i assumed my electric coil stove couldn't really get that hot. i was going to use a method i read about of adding oil and then stir frying chinese chives and ginger. when i added the oil, the oil ignited on contact with the pan! i'm only assuming my stove gets a lot hotter than i thought. ever since then, i've been terrified to stir fry with too high of a heat.

  35. Totally disagree with the comment about the heat source, my designated wok cooker creates flavor that you just can't get without massive amounts of heat. Put your little camping cooker away and get serious with it.

  36. My kitchen range is 18,000 btu, still not enough, I'm building a outdoor wok stove 100'000 btu.
    Can't imagine cooking on that sissy butane one
    Great recipes

  37. Just want to say tried the recipe for the pork and chilis. And it's good, grant my wok i feel isn't searing as well as i'd like. But the dish is good, and also why didn't you mention it reheats super well. Like holy shit, it makes for a good lunch meal at work.

  38. Many thanks for your informative video. Your videos are certainly more accessible than most others on Chinese cooking and your explanations are very clear and logical. Once again, thanks.

  39. Now I want to add a wok to my outdoor kitchen… and of course, a little burner like he uses.
    I’d love to try this recipe…and even a Japanese “Yasai Itame” veggie with chicken stir fry outside, next to my grill…

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