If you're searching for the perfect graduation or bridal gift, wok this way! You can purchase a wok (or large, heavy-bottomed skillet) and use it as a gift container. Fill it with a beautiful pair of chopsticks, curry and five-spice mixes, packaged udon noodles, rice vinegar, coconut milk, fish sauce, roasted red chili paste, sesame oil and wooden stir-fry utensils. Thread a ribbon through the handles of the wok or around the skillet handle, tie it in a bow and your present will contain the basic ingredients needed to prepare the perfect stir-fry!

You can enclose my recipe for Wok-Fried Salmon and Vegetables on a pretty card, and use it to make a quick, easy and delicious meal for yourself!

Stir-Frying Tips:

Prep all the veggies in advance in similar-sized pieces for even cooking;

Vegetables should be rinsed and drained ahead of time;

If using a non-stick wok, pre-heat on medium-high to high heat for at least a minute before adding oil;

Drizzle the oil down the sides of the wok so that it coats both the sides and the bottom of the wok. The oil heats faster this way;

When adding sauce to vegetables and/or meat, form a "well" in the middle by pushing the ingredients up the sides of the wok. Add the sauce in the middle and stir to thicken before combining with the other ingredients.


For the Sauce:

2 tablespoons organic rice vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar, honey or stevia

1 tablespoon grated ginger root

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1/2 teaspoon fish sauce

1 to 2 teaspoons roasted red chili paste, to taste

For the Stir-Fry:

2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped

2 cups purple or green broccoli florets

2 medium carrots, sliced in ribbons

3 bunches baby bok choy, rinsed and sliced in quarters

6 green onions, cut in half, roots removed and discarded

2 cups chopped purple cabbage

1/4 pound salmon fillet

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

1. In small bowl, combine rice vinegar, sugar, ginger root, cornstarch, hoisin and fish sauce, and red chili paste. Mix well and set aside to allow flavors to combine.

2. In large wok (or skillet), heat oil over high heat. Add in onion, broccoli and carrots. Stir-fry, stirring constantly, for 34 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. Add bok choy, green onions and the cabbage, stirring constantly. Immediately place salmon fillet on top of vegetables. Reduce heat to medium, cover wok or skillet and cook for 45 minutes or until salmon flakes when tested with fork. Flake salmon and stir into vegetables.

3. Make a well in the center of the wok or skillet. Stir the vinegar mixture and add it into the wok or skillet. Turn heat to medium-high and stir-fry for 23 minutes until the sauce bubbles and thickens. Drizzle with the sesame oil. Serve immediately over hot, cooked udon noodles or rice. Serves 4.

Note: Specialty ingredients listed in this week's recipe can be ordered from www.Vitacost.com.

Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children's author, a culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is "The Kitchen Diva's Diabetic Cookbook." Visit her website at www.divapro.com.

(c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.