Along the Bowery, New York's restaurant supply shop row, the wok is the shopping cart. And the shoppers are mostly harried prep cooks and elderly Asian ladies. Then there's Jonathan Wu, the innovative chef behind NYC's Fung Tu.
We picked his brain on his favorite Bowery gear and what he thinks cooks should be bringing home in their shopping woks.
2. Wok Ring Stand: We don't all have custom wok burners. Solution: this cheap steel stand keeps the big pan in place.
3. Wok Spatula: Wu calls this super scoop "spork-ish." Its flat bottom and beveled edges pick up everything.
4. Pastry Scraper: Wu's workhorse doubles as a knife ("You don't want to use your stainless steel knife for dough") and is good for pushing chopped scallions around a cutting board.
5. Petty Knife: "I used to be crazy into knives," Wu says. Now he finds this one the most versatile. A lightweight blade, somewhere between a chef's knife and paring knife, it's perfect for chopping herbs and deboning fish.
7. Rubber Cutting Board: Wu's happy medium between wooden and plastic: soft on the knife like wood, but non-porous (a.k.a. sanitary) like plastic.
8. Peeler: A horizontal blade because it gives Wu the control to make a few long strokes rather a million haphazard ones.
9. Cooking Chopsticks: The line cooks at Fung Tu rely on these long wooden chopsticks to quickly sauté greens without straying into the line of fire.
10. Fish Tweezers: "Indispensible for pulling out pin bones." To shake off sticky bones, he dips the tweezers in a cup of cold water.