Smoky Kitchens

Recipes in English for smoked Chinese foods almost always include grandmotherly shriekings about the smoke that will linger long after the last smoked duck wing has disappeared. Rubbish!
If you smoke 15 muscle-bound chickens in one night in one small kitchen, as I have had occasion to discover, then, yes, the house will fairly reek and so will you. However, if you smoke only one or two items at a time, then quickly dispose of the caramelized smoking ingredients and the foil that lined the pot, what lingers is only an ephemeral, ethereal incense.

To insure that the kitchen and the house stay smoke-free, begin by crimping the foil shut as directed. Create some ventilation and as much as comforts you by opening doors and windows and turning on fans. When you are done smoking, uncover the pot near an open window or outside on the porch. But most of all, dispose of the burnt ingredients and foil at once. Then what remains to haunt you is just the memory of a great meal.

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