The Wonderful Wok
The Wonderful Wok , Stir Frying Basics
If you want to really enjoy Asian cooking you need to invest in a wok. You will find that stir frying is a great way to create a delicious healthy meal in only a few minutes. Learn to cook your meals the traditional Asian way which is light on meat and heavy on vegetables. When you cook on high heat you will retain all the great healthy vitamins and the wonderful tastes will be there also. You can be cooking delightful tasty meals in your own wok very quickly.
You don't need to spend hundreds of dollars on your wok. About fifty dollars will buy you a heavy stainless steel wok in most parts of the USA. Remember that the heavier your wok is the better it will retain heat. You will be cooking at very high temperatures in your wok.
Season Your Wok.
To start with make sure that you wipe your wok completely clean of any packing materials or grease. Now you will want to wash it completely clean with warm soapy water. Once you have it clean turn your stoves burner on medium high heat and place your wok on the burner. Drop a few drops of olive oil into your wok and swirl it around. Take the heat up until the wok starts to smoke. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool. Once cool enough wipe your wok completely clean with a dry towel.
What Else You Will Need.
1. A good well made sturdy cutting board.
2. Several large bowls to place your ingredients in as you cook them in your wok. I bought a complete set of metal bowls in various sizes and these work great.
3. You need a good sharp chefs knife for chopping. Later you may want your own set of knives.
Get prepared to cook ( Stir Fry ) before you ever heat up your wok. Have your vegetables and meats cut up in the sizes you want for cooking. Have your spices, sauces and etc setting there so you can reach and get them easily as you cook. Once you start cooking you will notice that the cooking will be fast and furious. As you cook your items and they are ready pour them out into your waiting bowls.
Experiment a bit and learn your Asian flavors well. Right now Thai Food is very popular and you can learn to prepare and cook it rather quickly. And as you cook and practice you will learn which spices and which sauces go together. You may want to purchase a collection of Asian or Thai recipe books or borrow them from the public library.
In time you will learn to use fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, fresh ginger, garlic, green and red curry paste, shrimp sauce, noodles, rice and of course lots of fresh cut vegetables and meats.
Really there is no limit to what you can use your wok for. I cook all kinds of tasty Asian Foods in mine and enjoy anything Asian. I myself prefer the taste of Thai or Vietnamese foods.