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Basic Chinese Cooking Lore: Hot pan cold oil 热锅冷油


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Also known as 滑锅 or "longyau"(?) in cantonese... which is basically the catchphrase of any Chinese Cooking Demystified video, such as: https://youtu.be/WujehK7kYLM?t=189. I really love that channel, Chef Wang's (I mean, he's from Sichuan - we are basically family!) and Dianxi Xiaoge's. Do check these out!

 

This technique, however, is not exclusive to China. My French grandmother always puts the emphasis on cooking with quite a hot pan + room temperature fat (butter, oil) for the best results. Not wok-level hot, mind you, since you always gotta be careful about smoke points (olive oil in particular, and butter separates rather fast at high temperature so you definitely need grandma-level experience there) - but hotter than the norm nevertheless.

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This technique, however, is not exclusive to China. My French grandmother always puts the emphasis on cooking with quite a hot pan + room temperature fat (butter, oil) for the best results.

 

Generally speaking I agree with your French grandmother. The exception would be when using a non-stick pan, such as one coated with Teflon. They tend to do best when only medium hot. 

 

As you say, smoke point is important. It is useful as an indicator of when the wok is hot enough for a stir-fry, when the oil in the pan is between its smoke point 冒烟点 and its fire point 燃点. Start cooking when there are early wisps of smoke (not billows of smoke.) Rosa's Kitchen Research Report 厨房研究报告 talks about that in another of her videos. (Click for link.) That's the source of this table. 

 

537896834_smokepointsmall.thumb.PNG.d664178e7443a0fa60ba973a3b729778.PNG

 

She doesn't include olive oil or butter, which can definitely add lots of flavor to a dish. I cannot imagine Jacques Pepin or Julia Child making anything without a big knob of delcious butter (or maybe two.) But they are not used much in Chinese frying because the smoke point is only around 200 C and 150 C respectively. Indian ghee (clarified butter) doesn't break down until about 250 C, which makes it suitable for high-temperature frying. 

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Also known as 滑锅 or "longyau"(?) in cantonese... 

 

@xinoxanu-- I watched the video a couple times. Do you think he could be saying “leng you” 冷油 as colloquial shorthand for 热锅冷油?After all, it is a well known and frequently used set phrase. 

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6 hours ago, abcdefg said:
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Also known as 滑锅 or "longyau"(?) in cantonese... 

 

@xinoxanu-- I watched the video a couple times. Do you think he could be saying “leng you” 冷油 as colloquial shorthand for 热锅冷油?After all, it is a well known and frequently used set phrase. 

 

I am not sure.

 

Dude's wife is Cantonese so at the very least "longyau" (or the closest written approximation) is one of the available Cantonese dialectal pronunciations. It's also worth noting that that word is always pronounced in the same way and their video subtitles (made by her I reckon) support this.

 

This is a somewhat puzzling term that not even Google can resolve based on this conversation, but two natives over there seem to believe "longyau" is the Cantonese pronunciation of "熱油", not "冷油".

 

Idk, Cantonese is a whole other world for me so I am really hoping that someone pops in to clarify this since now I am curious!

 

 

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  • 3 months later...
8 minutes ago, Michaelyus said:

𠺘油 long2 yau4 is the generally accepted form, 𠺘 being the Cantonese form of Standard Mandarin 漱, to rinse or swirl. 

 

Thank you @Michaelyus -- That's what I was looking for. Answers my question. 

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