These expert tips will help you achieve the perfect balance of flavours.
15 May 2013 - 3:55 PM  UPDATED 26 Feb 2021 - 12:56 PM

Shredding makrut lime leaves

To make shredding makrut lime leaves easier, first roll the leaves up tightly then use a sharp knife to cut finely across the roll.

Using coconut milk and cream

Coconut milk and cream can settle during storage in cans, so give them a good shake before opening.

Serving rice

To serve coconut rice Malaysian style, scoop individual servings into a small soup bowl to mould rice before upending it onto plates.

Selecting a wok

For the beginner, it is best to buy a wok set with a lid, ring, wok turner, ladle, and strainer. A wok made of low carbon steel is preferred, as this type of metal is a better conductor of heat.

Seasoning and cleaning a wok

If you buy a nonstick wok you will need to season it before you use it. After use, never use detergent; clean with water and place back on the gas to burn away impurities, wipe with a paper towel with a little oil to keep it at its best.


The secret to the success of a good stir-fry is to prepare all ingredients before starting to cook. Also, heat the wok first before adding any oil to reduce smoking; cook over high heat and keep the food moving; partially cook the vegetables first by blanching or soaking in hot water.