Why Toss Pan in Chinese Cooking

(Last Updated on December 11, 2023 by Amiee)

In the kitchen of the Chinese restaurant, pan tossing is the most common movement, the scoop is moving on the fire, and the scene is spectacular. The reason why Chinese food is delicious, basic skills can not be ignored. Pan tossing is one of the important basic skills of Chinese chefs. This is also the case for the Chinese Chef Skills Test.

Pan tossing is a skill that meets the requirements of the dishes, and tossing the ingredients accurately, timely, and justly, so that the dishes are matured, tasted, colored, painted, and shaped. The skill level of pan tossing can only directly affect the quality of the dishes.

There are three main functions of pan tossing:

  • It can speed up cooking, and keep the dishes fresh, tender, crisp, and so on.
  • The pan tossing can keep the ingredients moving for a short period of time, the pan can be prevented from rubbing the bottom so that the dishes are evenly heated, mature, uniform, and have the same color. The ingredients are not easily broken, ensuring the appearance of the dishes.
  •  Pan tossing can make the dishes blend with the starch water, evenly adhere to the main and auxiliary ingredients, and quickly play the role of removing the fishy smell, refreshing and scenting.

In the cooking process, according to the shape of the raw materials, the requirements of the fire, the degree of movement, and other factors, we divide the technology of the pan tossing into small pan tossing, large pan tossing, swaying spoons, hanging pan tossing, and helping pan tossing.

  • First, small pan tossing

It is mainly suitable for small quantities, short heating time, and easy-to- mature dishes. The specific method is as follows: hold the handle or the ear of the spoon in the left hand, use the edge of the stove as the fulcrum, and pour the pan slightly forward to send the ingredients to the front half of the pan, quickly pull it back to a certain position, and then gently pull down the pressure to make the ingredients flip in the pan.
Then repeat this set of actions, so that the pan does not leave the fire, quickly, and flip freely, so that the cooked dishes meet the quality requirements.

For example, “Kung Pao Chicken Ding” is a dish that must be made with the technique of small pan tossing to make the dish taste uniform, bright and golden.

  • Second, large pan tossing

It is a 180° flip of the raw material in the pot, which is called a large spoon because of the large movement and the flipping amplitude.

The method is to hold the pot handle or the pot ear in the left hand, shake the dishes in the pot, then pull the pot away from the fire and lift it to the upper right. Raise the pan to an angle of 60° to 70° with the operating table. Gently pull the pan back with the arm while lifting, so that the ingredient is turned backward. At this time, the dish will have certain inertia to the pan. To reduce the inertia, the pan should be dropped along with the ingredients, and the angle becomes smaller to catch the ingredients.
The completion of the above set of actions must be agile and accurate, in one go, and can not be decomposed. The large pan tossing is suitable for shaping ingredients and dishes.

For example, the “crabs and sorghum melons” will be buried in the cooked melon strips, gently pushed into the broth that has been adjusted in the pot, and then stewed with a small fire, and the technique of a large pan tossing is used after the hooking. The dishes are placed steadily in the spoon, and their shape is not the same as the shape of the plate.

  • Third, the swaying pan

Hold the pot handle or the pot ear in the left hand, and rotate the pot clockwise or counterclockwise by the force of the wrist to rotate regularly, and the rotation of the dish is driven by the shaking of the big spoon.

For example, “Spiced Braised Chicken” will steam the cooked whole chicken skin face down into the pan. When thickening the pan, simmer the starch along the edge of the ingredient to make the soup thick, then sip the oil, shake the pan to adjust the position, then use the action of the large pan tossing to make the bright red leather face down, and then drag it into the plate,  the shape of the dish is very nice.

  • Four, hanging pan tossing

The method of hanging the pan is to hold the pot handle or the pot ear in the left hand, and at the appropriate time, the pot end is separated from the fire source. Hold the pot slightly forward and feed the material to the front half of the pot. When the hook is pulled back, the front end is tilted up and the pot is coordinated to quickly turn the ingredients once. Because the ingredient in the pot is flipped and the whole set of movements is carried out in the air, it is called a hanging pan tossing. This method is suitable for some special dishes.

For example, In”Candied floss sweet potato”, the sweet potatoes were deep-fried and put into the syrup, quickly remove the pot from the fire source, use the technique of hanging over to continuously flip the ingredients, so that the sweet potato pieces covered with syrup to meet the quality requirements. If other dishes like this are used, it is necessary to cause the main ingredient to hang the uneven syrup or the syrup to become red and bitter.

  • Five, helping pan tossing

Hold the pot handle and the pot ear in the left hand, and hold the pot on the upper side of the frying pan on the right side. While pulling the flipping dishes, use the pot to push the material back and forward to make it flip. This method is applied to a large number of dishes that are difficult to flip. And the effective implementation of the small pan tossing and hanging pan tossing techniques.

For example, if you make ten plates of “spicy chicken”, it is very difficult to turn the chicken pieces because of the large number. At this time, it is often necessary to use the method of helping pan tossing, so that the dishes can be heated, the taste is uniform, the maturity is consistent, and the juice is even and bright.

It must be pointed out that some dishes are difficult to achieve the best results with one pan tossing method when cooking, and must be closely coordinated in several ways to achieve the quality standards of the cooked dishes.

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