Personally, these are things magical about Chinese cuisine.
The first time I cooked over a New York stove, it felt like a jet lag. The high heat was barely the medium heat that I was accustomed to for a household stove. I lost the sense of time control, and the texture became mushy.
“Pao (爆)” is one of my favorite techniques in Chinese cooking. The word itself means “explosion”, and the cooking involves rapidly rolling marinated, usually sliced ingredients in extremely high heat for under a minute. The liveliness of ingredients is captured and seasonings are brightly transformed. Best of all, you taste the fire.
A traditionally trained Chinese chef can showcase 40 fire techniques, and deliver wide spectrum of textures and flavors. Fire is the magic.
That moment when I felt like an independent kid, was when I grew big and strong enough to roll the Lazy Susan by myself. Especially on a dinner party table when the local extravaganza was served. No more auntie’s pick and choose what should go on my white rice. And I learnt a wild world from there. My first deep-fried bee, and rooster testicles… brought to me by Lazy Susan.