Saturday, October 24, 2015

Wok smoking all year ‘round

Phyllis Louise Harris
November 2015 

One of my favorite dishes to cook for parties is duck smoked in a wok. It can be made ahead, served at room temperature and tastes wonderful! Wok smoking is also good for chicken, pheasant, Cornish game hens or turkey parts, and it is the perfect dish for beautiful autumn days and even cold winter nights. If there are any leftovers, they are also good. So how can you go wrong? 

It is not, however, a last minute choice since it requires steaming the fowl, chilling it and then smoking it in the wok on the stovetop. Once finished it will keep in the refrigerator for several days. (I even took smoked duck to Arizona one winter and it survived the trip very well.) Serve it with Chinese steamed buns brushed with hoison sauce and scallion brushes for an absolutely delicious dish. 

We featured smoked duck and pheasant in “Asian Flavors: Changing the Tastes of Minnesota since 1875” along with a recipe for steamed buns. The pheasant recipe was inspired by Bryan Anderson an avid hunter who enjoys the sport as well as the food it provides. He and his wife Carolyn supplied the pheasant we used to create a smoked version that was great (also in the book). Did you know that pheasant were originally imported to Minnesota from China in1905? Today, there are nearly half a million pheasant available in the state each year for harvesting by hunters like Bryan. 

Basically the key to wok smoking is to use an iron wok (not stainless or non-stick) and line it with foil. Tear a hole in the foil at the center of the wok and place hickory chips in that hole so they rest directly on the bottom of the wok. Place the pre-cooked fowl on a rack or crossed wooden chopsticks in the wok then cover with a dome of foil and securely pinch it to the bottom foil creating an enclosed smoker. Place the wok on a stove burner and turn the heat to high to get the smoke going quickly. Smoke for 10 minutes, turn off the heat and let it sit for another 5 – 10 minutes before opening the foil. The result will be beautifully browned and smoked fowl ready to serve.

The steamed buns we normally serve with the duck are also easy to make, freeze nicely and turn the smoked fowl into a delicious sandwich. Even the scallion brushes can be made ahead and stored in cold water in the refrigerator. At serving time, slice the fowl, reheat the buns and set them all up for dining in a matter of minutes. Absolutely delicious!


Read more about Asian food in Minnesota and try more than 160 recipes in Asian Flavors: Changing the Tastes of Minnesota since 1875, in bookstores and on
Watch the EMMY® award winning “Asian Flavors” television show based on the book on tpt MN. Check local TV listings for broadcast times or view the show streaming online at:

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