My Recipe Box

Behind the Kitchen Door: Grace Young's East-Meets-West Kitchen

Video Length: 10:33
Produced by: Robyn Doyon-Aitken; Text, images, and floor plan by Charles Miller; kitchen before shot provided by Grace Young

Text by Charles Miller

Measuring in at just over 60 square feet, cookbook author Grace Young's kitchen is small by contemporary standards. But relative to most kitchens in her SoHo neighborhood in New York City, it's positively enormous. And every inch of space is put to good use.

Known for her expertise in Chinese cuisine in general and wok cooking in particular (and for traveling with a 14-inch wok in her carry-on luggage), Grace has won a host of awards for her cookbooks, which celebrate authentic Chinese recipes. Her most recent, Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge, took home the 2011 James Beard award for the best international cookbook. There's even a dedicated group of readers, the Wok Wednesdays crew, cooking their way through the entire book.

I dropped in on Grace to learn first-hand about how she uses her Big Apple kitchen to create traditional Chinese dishes. The aroma of fresh garlic and ginger hitting her sizzling-hot wok drew me into the room, and the efficiency and charm of the space made me never want to leave.

Inspired to fire up your wok? Grace has that effect on people. Pick a favorite recipe from Grace and stir-fry, steam, deep fry, or smoke. . .you guessed it. . .to the sky's edge.

Featured Recipes from Grace Young
Stir-Fried Chili Beef with Bell Peppers and Snow Peas recipe Steamed Salmon with Leeks, Shiitake, and Soy recipe
Stir-Fried Chili Beef with Bell Peppers and Snow Peas   Steamed Salmon with Leeks, Shiitake, and Soy
Tea-Smoked Shrimp Salad with Mango recipe Vegetable Tempura recipe
Tea-Smoked Shrimp Salad with Mango   Vegetable Tempura

Read the article Four Ways to Cook in Your Wok for Grace's tips on wok cooking.

Giveaway

Leave a comment on Grace's Must-Have Cooking Tools post for your chance to win a 14-in carbon-steel flat bottom wok and more of Grace's favorite cooking tools.

posted in: Behind the Kitchen Door, Grace Young
Comments (25)

latenitepho writes: Beautiful kitchen, Grace. I've adored your cookbooks. Your recipes have brought wonderful food and happiness to my home. Posted: 11:31 am on February 27th

Elise913 writes: Oh, how wonderful you kitchen is...I didn't expect that you would share where you purchased your beautiful cabinets and appliances! Great tips! I love your kitchen gods and display shelf...my grandmother had a display shelf on either side of her kitchen sink, and now I have some of her lovely items. Thank you for having me into your home! Posted: 8:35 pm on February 13th

tmann writes: How wonderful to hear the details of how Grace and her husband went about planning their kitchen. I especially like the deep countertops, something I would love to have. Thanks for providing it. Posted: 3:30 pm on February 11th

balex33 writes: The kitchen tour was delightful: I got several good ideas for remodeling my kitchen, which is hopelessly outdated! I'm trying to get a group interested in working their way through the cookbook soon! I don't have a wok yet, so hope I win one! Until I do, my skillet will just have to do... Posted: 6:11 pm on February 10th

demodan writes: I loved your video....it really hit home when you said you didn't like Chinese food in restaurants. I love my wok frying at home, but have never enjoyed it out. Your kitchen is a tribute to who you are and I spend most of my time at home in mine.
Thank you for some new great ideas. Posted: 2:21 pm on February 7th

spats writes: Winning would be fun Posted: 11:03 pm on February 5th

lynnebair writes: This is a delightful and rather inspiring little video. It is interesting to see the attractive and efficient use of the small kitchen space. Grace also has a very clear and soothing way of speaking that draws you in. By the end I couldn't wait to plan some wok cooking with one of her books! Posted: 4:08 pm on February 5th

Colorado_Kay writes: What a wonderful kitchen to tour. Thank you for the stir fry tips. I would love to win the wok so I can dispose of my non-stick pan. That would be a great way to start the Chinese New Year!! Posted: 10:49 am on February 5th

papasho writes: Very organized, effective and efficient kitchen… Posted: 8:16 am on February 5th

tigerlille writes: What a charming story-video. I love Grace's cookbooks. To be honest, I have been using a high end 12-inch skillet for my stir fries. Maybe it is time to invest in a quality wok again! Posted: 7:38 am on February 5th

abcz1234 writes: I threw away my wok a long time ago because it looked so terrible, but after hearing Grace at a Culinary Guild of NE meeting, I realized they all get that way after much use! I would love another one and the cork cutting board looks intriguing. I have the book and do make Chinese meals several times a month. Her kitchen is just beautiful. Posted: 7:18 am on February 5th

loripops writes: Amazing offer Posted: 12:46 am on February 4th

JohnGerbino writes: Grace, I enjoyed your kitchen tour - all my friends in NYC struggle with kitchen space, it can be a real challenge. Smart move buying the unit next door! Still very much enjoying my wok, thanks to all your tips and your inspiration. Posted: 4:26 pm on January 31st

wenwoo writes: Great kitchen suggestions and I really liked the pantry - finding something unique to personalize your kitchen. I've always been a bit leery of cooking with a wok but Grace's passion for it comes through that I definitely will try to cook with it this year! Posted: 1:51 pm on January 30th

JamesSzuch writes: I just moved into a place with a smaller kitchen and it is great to see what can be done. Alas, I'm only renting at the moment but I'll keep this in mind for the future.

More importantly...thanks for recommending a knife sharpener that will handle both my European and Asian knives!

Posted: 8:13 pm on January 22nd

Kim838 writes: I picked up the magazine at the store and stopped dead on that page. That's my kitchen! Ok, my future kitchen. My kitchen is small too, and I've been looking for ideas. Now that I've found the video, I've got lots of ideas to work with. Thanks Grace! Posted: 12:06 pm on January 20th

GraceYoung writes: Apologies that I haven't logged on sooner. Thanks everyone for your compliments on my kitchen and Henley!.

I can't help mentioning a little wok propaganda: the best wok for stir-frying is the one Fine Cooking is giving away: a 14-inch flat-bottom carbon-steel wok. Like a cast-iron skillet the more you cook with it the pan forms a natural nonstick surface, meaning it requires minimal fat for stir-frying. And the flat-bottom is perfect for an electric, induction or a gas stove top. I also prefer it because the food sears and caramelizes much better than nonstick cookware. So participate in the "Grace Must Have Tools" giveaway! The wok will be your Culinary BFF!
Posted: 4:21 pm on January 18th

NMRSmith writes: What a beautiful and well-planned kitchen! I agree that a 30" counter is the cat's meow (wave to Henley). That's something I put in my newly-renovated kitchen, and I love it.

The kitchen god story is very amusing. I'll have to remember to get mine drunk next year! Posted: 5:07 pm on January 17th

NMRSmith writes: What a beautiful and well-planned kitchen! I agree that a 30" counter is the cat's meow (wave to Henley). That's something I put in my newly-renovated kitchen, and I love it.

The kitchen god story is very amusing. I'll have to remember to get mine drunk next year! Posted: 5:07 pm on January 17th

icancook4u writes: Grace, Thanks for the kitchen tour. Your tips were great and the kitchen god story was very entertaining. I loved your first book because it reminded me of my childhood experience of eating the exact same dishes as your family did. I do need a wok and get rid of my non-stick skillets. Posted: 3:32 pm on January 8th

Christyjo0 writes: Nice video. Thank you for the great tips. Posted: 7:01 pm on January 7th

ChestnutCabinCook writes: I enjoyed Ms. Young's excellent video and her tips on cooking with a wok. I use a wok to stir-fry meals on our small trawler; thanks to Ms. Young's tips I will also try steaming and smoking with my wok. Posted: 10:12 am on January 4th

KisaVal writes: Loved this tour... (and Henley, too) It was very helpful to hear the cook's own description of her kitchen. I got several good ideas for our future kitchen. One comment: Though I do agree with Grace's view of non-stick in general, I so love my circulon wok, at least for my electric smooth glass top range. Posted: 11:19 am on December 31st

beastwood writes: We're just starting our small kitchen remodel and have been drawing out where everything will go in the new kitchen. I am so excited to see someone else utilize every inch they can as organization is key to finding your must-have cooking tools! This video got me so excited to finally getting our kitchen done so I can make some wonderful wok-cooked meals when we're done. Thank you for your inspiration! Posted: 3:13 pm on December 28th

beastwood writes: We're just starting our small kitchen remodel and have been drawing out where everything will go in the new kitchen. I am so excited to see someone else utilize every inch they can as organization is key to finding your must-have cooking tools! This video got me so excited to finally getting our kitchen done so I can make some wonderful wok-cooked meals when we're done. Thank you for your inspiration! Posted: 3:12 pm on December 28th

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