Discover the Power of Wok Induction Cooking with Master Chef Martin Yan

“Many people misunderstand what creates ‘wok hei.’ It’s about cooking at a high temperature. What you’re smelling is the caramelization of proteins as they cook and char, creating that unique aroma. It doesn’t matter whether you use gas or induction.”

-Master Chef Martin Yan

An Unforgettable Cooking Experience in Santa Clara County

Last month, over 200 residents of Santa Clara County had the unique opportunity to join Master Chef Martin Yan and Chef Rachelle Boucher for a free cooking experience. This event, filled with delightful tastes and live demonstrations, highlighted the incredible capabilities of induction cooking.

Culinary Delights and Induction Myths Debunked

Chef Martin Yan showcased some of his signature recipes, including honey-glazed lemon chicken and a steamed fish filet with miso glaze. He took the opportunity to debunk common myths about “wok-hei,” an essential feature of Cantonese cooking. Contrary to popular belief, Chef Yan demonstrated that the smoky, charred aroma and flavors, typically associated with traditional gas cooking, can indeed be achieved using induction technology. Attendees left the event with a newfound appreciation for induction cooking, along with numerous resources to inspire their own electric cooking journeys.

Collaborative Efforts for a Sustainable Future

This live induction cooking experience was made possible by a collaboration between The Switch Is On, BayREN, the County of Santa Clara, and the City of Cupertino. The event aimed to educate residents about the benefits of induction cooking and encourage a shift towards more sustainable cooking practices. Santa Clara County residents can find resources to start their own induction cooking journey here.

Insights from the Event: Chef Martin Yan Talks Wok Induction Cooking

Chef Boucher: I’m here with one of the best advocates for cuisine in the world and also for induction cooking. Chef Yan, one of the big myths is that people feel you cannot get “wok hei,” which is the breath of the wok, with induction. What’s your take on this?

Chef Martin Yan: First of all, many people misunderstand what creates “wok hei.” It’s about cooking at a high temperature. What you’re smelling is the caramelization of proteins as they cook and char, creating that unique aroma. It doesn’t matter whether you use gas or induction; as long as you can generate that high heat, you can achieve “wok hei.” Induction technology is much more efficient and energy-saving. It heats up quickly and provides the necessary intensity for the frying pan or cooking vessel. The gas itself doesn’t create “wok hei;” it’s the temperature of the cooking vessel that does. Induction cooking can absolutely achieve this.

Try it yourself with a Chef Yan Recipe: Honey-Glazed Lemon Chicken and others here.

Image: BayREN

  • Servings: 4


  • Chicken:

  – 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

  – Cooking oil for deep-frying

  • Marinade:

  – 2 tablespoons oyster flavored sauce

  – 2 teaspoons cornstarch

  • Sauce:

  – 1/3 cup lemon juice

  – 1/4 cup honey or 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

  – 2 tablespoons chicken broth

  – 2 teaspoons soy sauce

  – 1/4 teaspoon salt

  – 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  – 2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

  • Coating:

  – 1/2 cup cornstarch

  – 1 egg, lightly beaten

  – 1 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)

  • Garnish:

  – 1/2 cup diced honeydew melon

  – 1/2 cup diced cantaloupe


  1. Place chicken pieces between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound lightly with the flat side of a mallet until about ¼-inch thick. Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add chicken and stir to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes. Combine sauce ingredients in a saucepan; set aside.
  2.  Heat oil in a wok to 350°F. Coat chicken in cornstarch; shake to remove excess. Dip into egg, drain briefly, then coat with panko. Deep-fry chicken, turning once, and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  3. Heat sauce over medium heat and cook, stirring, until sauce boils and thickens. Add honeydew melon and cantaloupe; cook until heated through.
  4. To serve, cut chicken into bite-size pieces, arrange on a plate, and pour sauce over the top.

Explore the wonders of induction cooking and create your own culinary masterpieces inspired by Master Chef Martin Yan in his new cookbook here.

For more information about home electrification visit: