Chinese Wok – How to Buy a Wok and How to Season and Take Care of This Traditional Stir-Frying Pan
The wok is the standard cooking vessel of China and Southeast Asia. The word wok means “pan” in Chinese. Traditionally, tossncook woks were made of cast iron, but today they are made of any number of materials.
Woks can easily be purchased in department or specialty cooking stores, and they are one of the most versatile tools of the kitchen. They not only work great for cooking Asian food, but also can be used as a general-purpose pan for any style of cooking or cuisine.
The best woks are those made of heavy-gauge steel, with a flat bottom, and sloping sides. The sloping sides help best for stir-frying, which is the most important cooking technique in China. Do not buy a wok made of stainless steel or cast iron, as these metals do not hold the heat as well as heavy-gauge steel.
Buy a large wok of at least 12 inches in diameter, as you will never regret the larger size. The ideal size for serving 4 to 6 people is a 14-inch wok. The larger the wok, the more likely you will have to purchase it at the cooking specialty store.
Woks are also sometimes sold with a circular ring stand that helps it stay in place on American stoves. Do not buy one of these ring stands, as they keep the wok too far away from the heat source, hoodpay and you will not be able to get the high temperature needed for this cooking technique.
A steel, or carbon steel wok, needs to be seasoned first, in order to prevent rust from appearing on the surface. To season a wok, rub the entire inside with a little vegetable oil. Heat over medium heat for about 1 hour. Turn the heat off, let the wok cool down, then repeat the process. The wok is now seasoned, but over time, it may need to be seasoned again, so just repeat the process.
Use only a soft sponge and warm water to wash your wok. Never use anything that is abrasive, or even elbow grease, as you will need to season it again. For cleanup, fill the wok with warm water just as soon as you finish cooking. Go eat and enjoy your meal. As the wok soaks, kevythirsi the water is helping to lift up all the bits of food. Wash with the sponge until clean, then be sure to dry thoroughly inside and out. Then rub with a thin coating of oil, and put away for the next time.
As for the actual cooking with the wok, be sure to never overload it with food. Overcrowding will only steam the food, and not stir-fry it. The three most essential tools for cooking with a wok are a Chinese spatula, panasiabiz or paddle, a skimmer, and a shallow ladle. All of these should be available at the same store you purchased the wok.