“Explode until fragrant”

This is a quick method for flavoring a stirfry or braised dish. In Mandarin, the word is baoxiang, which literally means “explode until fragrant.” The explosion refers to the high heat and instant sizzle when the ingredient hits the wok.

Used with seasonings such as fresh ginger root, scallions, and garlic, it quickly flavors the oil that is used to cook the main ingredient.


  1. Heat the wok over high, then add the oil.
  2. Add the seasoning (ginger, scallion, garlic…) and stirfry QUICKLY just until the fragrance is released. Do not allow the seasoning to brown or you will have an unpleasant bitter taste, particularly with garlic.
  3. Before the seasoning has time to brown, add the ingredient to be stirfried – this will cool the wok down sufficiently to stop the seasoning’s cooking process.

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