Our Place’s Lunar New Year Collab Makes Even the Most Simple Dishes Taste “So Good”
No doubt, this upcoming weekend will certainly be packed with plenty of excitement. But not just because Super Bowl LVIII will be airing from Las Vegas. This Saturday, February 10, also marks the start of the festive Lunar New Year and the Year of the Dragon. As a fourth-generation, multicultural Asian American, it signals a time for me to reflect on the Chinese traditions I learned from my father, welcome a year of new beginnings, and, of course, celebrate and enjoy all of the delicious food.
Whether it’s a plate of dim sum, a bowl of saucy noodles, or a mound of sweet mandarin oranges, the symbolic foods are said to help usher in good luck — and it happens to be one of my favorite ways to welcome the new year. That’s why I was happy to discover that Our Place and Fly by Jing, two brands I love, partnered up on a fun collaboration aptly called the Saucy Hot Wok Set to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
What’s Included in the Saucy Hot Wok Set?
As an owner of a much-loved, multitasking Always Pan from Our Place, I decided it was well-worth getting my hands on this special collection. The Saucy Hot Wok Set includes a 12-inch hot wok and steamer basket from Our Place, plus Fly By Jing’s Year of the Dragon Triple Threat, a limited-edition trio of its tasty and spicy sauces: Sichuan Chili Crisp, Zhong Sauce, and Chengdu Crunch.
The set is thoughtfully equipped with all the accessories — a glass lid (unlike my old wok which had a metal lid) so you can watch how your food is cooking, a beechwood spatula emblazoned with a stunning dragon, a pair of long cooking chopsticks, and 10 disposable liners for the steamer basket.
What’s So Great About the Saucy Hot Wok Set?
I once had an old, worn-out wok I had inherited from my mom, but after using it repeatedly and just not cooking well with it, I realized that I had let the blackened pan go. Once I opened up the box from Our Place, I immediately realized that the wok comes pre-seasoned and is made of carbon steel, which means it’s totally nonstick. Plus, it has a sturdy handle, which is great for flipping your meal as it cooks (mastering that technique, however, is a whole other story).
I was eager to put my new wok to the test, and the timing couldn’t have been better. The beginning of the year had me eating a veggie-centric meal plan, so I immediately foraged in my fridge to create a simple kale, carrot, and mushroom stir-fry.
As I sizzled up the aromatic sesame oil and minced ginger and garlic, I was impressed by how lightweight this pan was and how easily and evenly it retained heat. Compared to my old one, this version is pure luxury and the slick carbon steel also made cleanup a breeze. Even though I haven’t mastered the wok flip (yet!), the sturdy handle and nonstick finish made it less intimidating.
I also conducted a taste test of the three Fly By Jing jars, carefully savoring each one. The Zhong Sauce is tangy and sweet, while the company’s newest sauce, Chengdu Crunch, has a crunchy bite courtesy of fava beans and yellow split peas. My favorite, though, is the delicious and classic Sichuan Chili Crisp, which I’ve been loyal to because it goes with everything. I like to drizzle on top of a comforting bowl of fried rice and an over-easy egg for that extra level of heat. But, really, you can’t go wrong with any of these.
After my initial veggie stir-fry, which was so good, I used the wok to test the steamer basket. And, as I expected, it worked wonders. The handwoven, bamboo-base basket perches right on top of the wok’s outer lip, creating the perfect arena for steaming pouches of pork dumplings and pillowy curry-filled bao. The best part? The included liners mean minimal cleanup!
It’s true that the kitchen equipment you have at your disposal can make all the difference. Maybe it’s the set itself or the confidence I gained using the beautiful wok, but, to me, the food just tasted better. And given its quality of craftsmanship and material, I’m betting it’ll last a lifetime, too. I consider this set a Lunar New Year gift to myself as a way to start a brand new year on a new cooking adventure.
Buy: Our Place x Fly By Jing Saucey Hot Wok Set, $170