Why do I love my Wok, let me count the ways
The Wedding Present that I didn't think I needed
I remember when I was a kid there was a joke in a sitcom about people registering for things like woks or fondue sets when they never get used. So when I got married I did not register for a wok or a fondue set. Yet when we opened our present a wok was magically in my new array of kitchen items. It was pretty and it came with some pretty wooden tools.
I have to be honest we moved at least twice before I even thought about using it. Finally settled into our new home with a large kitchen I started cooking more and started using my wok. The present was from friends that I knew in high school and I am pretty sure they knew me better than I thought. In high school I lived on rice, a lot of rice. I love rice. So fast forward many years to my big kitchen and my wok. I had to google how to use my wok and how to care for it.
Seasoning the Wok
I remember seasoning my wok for the first time and then trying to figure out how to store it without it becoming gross. That seems like ages ago when I only used my wok every few months. I would patiently oil the wok and clean it carefully and treated it like a child. I was so worried I would ruin it.
After I got my wok season and oiled up I would wonder how to store it and came up with what I thought was an ingenious solution - plastic shopping bags. I would wrap my wok inside two bags so that the freshly seasoned wok would not get dirty in my cabinet. My poor husband just shook his head at me.
Fast Meals for a Busy Family
Today my wok lives with all my other pans. I use it at least once a week for a quick meal. I use my rice cooker and my wok simultaneously in order to get a meal on the table in less than a half hour. I buy the sauces pre made and frozen stir fry veggies to throw in once my chicken is cooked. I have to admit I use chicken in ,my stir fry about 98% of the time. I have ventured a few times to try and make some battered chicken like the takeout restaurants.
Sometimes I throw in dry roasted unsalted peanuts to the stir fry for a little bit of flavor and crunch. We go through a lot of rice in my family. My favorite rice is jasmine, but any type of white rice will do when we are stretching the budget.
Today my wok is thrown around and cleaned just like any other pot or dish. I do not put it in the dishwasher - mainly because it doesn't fit.
My Little Rice Lovers
I have grown another generation of rice lovers. When I first started making stir fry frequently my kids would only eat the rice, they do love rice just like me. As I make it more and more I have found that the amount I was making was not enough for our family of four because my kids were devouring it.
So i learned my lessons and started buying chicken in bulk. I cut it up into pieces before I separate it into several pound zip lock bags to freeze. I pull out a bag int he morning and throw in in the refrigerator to defrost for dinner that night. Now about 1.5 pounds of chicken and a bag of frozen stir fry veggies, 2 cups rice and we are a happy family.
Replace the Wok?
About a month ago I looked at my hard working wok and realized it looked a little sad for the wear. So I went back to where I started and looked online for how to refurbish my wok to it's former glory. A little oil, some rock salt, heat, and paper towels and my wok looked almost new again.
My husband and I will be married 10 years this summer. When I look back at all the things we received for the wedding there are many that are still in our home and we love, but this one piece is special to me because it was something that I never wanted and has provided so many happy meals to my family.