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Asian Confusion Meal It was good to get back in the kitchen (and back posting cooks on the Forum) after a much too long series of travel, family and work commitments preventing me from doing any serious cooking for many months. When you look at the ingredients and seasonings in this dish you will understand my naming motivation for the meal/post that goes beyond a “fusion “ meal. Plus it is a mix across cuisines – US, Chinese, Japanese, and who knows what else… And even the cooking method in the Dutch oven could be considered unorthodox. Asian Confusion Meal However, I had an idea how I wanted to build this dish and it worked well as a rather quick to prepare, stomach filling and tasty meal that has a great rich flavor profile. It is also not too bad for the dieting I am doing. A key element to this spur of the moment “in-store” meal planning for dinner was the fresh wild caught USA shrimp on sale in my international market. 2 ¾ lbs seemed just right. I butterflied these. And the other ingredients were handily there also - Snow peas, baby bok choy, red bell pepper, carrots, raw corn I cut off the cob, onion, green onion, celery, garlic, ginger. Add some Cajun seasoning on the shrimp, and in the main dish red pepper, soy sauce and sesame oil. Serve with Japanese pepper seasoning blend for extra kick. The Assorted & Diverse Ingredients Since I was making enough for lunches and leftovers, I used the large 7.5 qt Dutch oven instead of my wok. I find that it can work well for dishes like this. First Stages of Stir Frying (proceed by order of anticipated cooking time) and the Initial Liquid Addition Rather than do an udon soup approach for the broth, I straddled a soup and a sauce with a restrained addition of tapioca starch in the dish to add a measure of body to the seafood stock liquid component. Final Broth Addition and Thickening Step The udon noodles were separately cooked and rinsed in cold water ahead of the main dish and then folded all together in the end. Adding the Cooked Udon Closing Out the Confusion This is one dish that was easier to cook on the stove than the Kamado. It is also going to make a wonderful lunch tomorrow. Hope this sparks some ideas for your own cook confusion.
Grilled Swordfish Steaks & Kamado Joe Cast Iron Wok Bok Choy A Tasty Meal The market had swordfish steaks on sale. Four went in the basket for dinner. While there the Shanghai bok choy looked very fresh and was also on sale. Several pounds went into the basket. This cook gave my son and I the opportunity to simultaneously cook on Big Joe for grilling the fish and on Classic Joe with the new Kamado Joe cast iron wok. We choose to use both Joes so the food came off at the very same time and because it was the first time using a wok on the Kamado as well as the first use of the recently released Kamado Joe cast iron wok. Big(Red)Joe was set up direct at 475 degrees for the fish. The fish was marinated in olive oil, fresh lime juice, oregano, basil, granulated garlic, fresh ground black pepper and a bit of salt. Some of the marinade was set aside and reserved as a table sauce. This marinade flavor was very good on the fish. Cooked these thick steaks for 4 minutes first side on well-oiled grill and 3 ½ on flip side. Just right. Classic(Red)Joe was setup for direct cooking and stabilized at 500-550 degrees. That was my guess with regard to the right fire level for woking. I think it worked. I tested the wok on the X ring frame at the lower level and decided that was too close to the fire and too hard to use the wok. We cooked with the X ring on the upper level. Wok preheat temp at the bottom was about 700 degrees. This is a cast iron wok, so it will hold the heat. The bok choy (cooked by Smokehowze son) came out very nicely. Simply stir fired with sesame oil, dried hot peppers, garlic and soy sauce. You could definitely tell the improvement over a wok on the stove burner because of the added heat ability. The resulting bok choy was much more of a stir fry quality and much less of a steamed result when cooking with lower heat. Wok Cook Observations: Have a ready place with a heat resistant support of some type for when you need to get the wok off the heat (like end of the cook) in order to get the food out. I used three bricks on my stainless work table spaced properly as a wok nest to keep the hot wok off the stainless top which would cause the top to warp. Have a pair of forearm or elbow length leather or otherwise heat resistant gloves to use when woking or you will get your arm overheated and/or lose hair. Also a good pair of heavy duty of pots holders are essential/critical. You will need them. The wok lifting ears get very very hot. When I first saw the cast iron wok at Kamado Joe, I mentioned to Bobby Brennan that my son had commented that to use it more easily on a Joe or any Kamado it needed a half diameter flat wok ring plate to set on the X ring snuggled up to the wok to shield the heat at the front coming off the charcoal. I can (and will) now inform Bobby from experience that such a shield plate would be a good addition to the wok set. For next time I will make one or improvise one out of aluminum foil. If you are used to cooking on a wok on your stove, be prepared for some changes. Like much more heat and much faster and different cooking. Have everything you need where it needs to be including the dish for the finished cook - you have NO time to run and grab something or even have someone fetch it for you. The cast iron wok is heavier and holds the heat much more so than a carbon steel wok. Factro that into your cooking. Cooking on the Kamado and with the cast iron wok can somewhat limit the traditional cooking techniques where-in the wok is also tilted and moved around during the cook. . Will we use the wok again on the Kamado? You bet! Is there be a learning curve for woking on a Kamado? Of course. Is it more like wok cooking should be? I think so at least from the heat perspective (from my limited experience). Here are the rest of the photos: The Swordfish With Marinade Fish on Big Joe Swordfish is Done The Kamado Joe Cast Iron Wok on a Classic Joe Wok Inside Bottom Temperature Bok Choy in the Wok Bok Choy is Done.