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I Love My Wok!

Updated on October 10, 2014

Wok Cooking



I love cooking and love cooking Asian food in particular and one of the pieces of equipment which I find most useful and wouldn't like to be without is my Wok together with my Wok Accessories!



  • Wok cooking is healthy.
  • The Wok Makes it easier to toss foods quickly without spilling them.
  • Requires much less oil for deep frying than a deep fat fryer.
  • The shape of the Wok allows the heat to spread evenly over its surface making it ideal for rapid cooking which is essential for stir-frying

Wok Type Should I Get?

Cantonese wok or Pau wok?

There are two types of wok:

The Cantonese Wok - These woks have a short rounded handle on each side and are best the best woks for steaming and deep frying since it can be set steadily onto a stand over the heat source, and is easier to move when it is full of liquid.


The Pau Wok - These woks are better for stir frying as it is easier to shake the wok over the heat. The wok has a long handle which distances you from the heat and hot oil and makes for safer frying.

You can now buy woks with flat bottoms which are specifically designed for electric hobs, these woks sit steadier on the heat source, but you can use them with gas hobs too.

Woks with rounded bases should only be used on GAS hobs.

The Cantonese Style Wok

Town Food Service 14 Inch Steel Cantonese Style Wok
Town Food Service 14 Inch Steel Cantonese Style Wok

The Cantonese Style wok is ideal for deep frying and steaming.

It can be set on a stand to keep it steady while you are cooking and the two handles make it easier to lift.

 

The Pau Type Wok

T-fal A80789 Specialty Nonstick Dishwasher Safe Oven Safe PFOA-Free Jumbo Wok Cookware, 14-Inch, Black
T-fal A80789 Specialty Nonstick Dishwasher Safe Oven Safe PFOA-Free Jumbo Wok Cookware, 14-Inch, Black

I chose this Wok because it is non stick and doesn't need to be seasoned before it is used, it's flat bottom means that it is suitable for both gas and electric hobs.

What is also useful is that it has a thermo-spot indicator which lets you know when the wok is pre heated to the required temperature, you needn't worry that the wok hasn’t reached the high temperature required for stir frying before adding the ingredients.

 

Wok Should I Choose?

It is easier to cook a small amount in a large wok than a large amount in a small wok!

You should preferably choose a large wok (about 30-35cm or12-14 inches in diameter) which has good deep sides.

Avoid Woks which have shallow sides because they are really no better than a large frying pan.

Choose one which is heavy and preferably made of carbon steel rather than the lighter stainless steel or aluminium woks.

Non stick woks are more expensive don't need seasoning like an ordinary wok.

Alternatively You Could Go For My Favorite Electric Wok - The Breville EW30XL Electric Gourmet Wok.

In the past I didn’t recommend using an electric wok because I thought that they didn’t reach the high temperatures required for stir frying.

However, I have been using one of these little gems for a few weeks now and let me tell you it has some serious heat! It has 15 heat settings and easily sears the meat and vegetables to keep the flavours and whats more its surface is non stick so I am using much less oil, making my wok cooking healthier as a result.

What I also find great about this electric wok is that it has a quick release base which lets you put everything except the power cord and temperature probe straight into the dishwasher for easy cleaning.

Breville EW30XL Electric Gourmet Wok
Breville EW30XL Electric Gourmet Wok

What more can I say, our hob and oven is out of commission whilst we remodel our kitchen and I have been using one of these and the microwave for most of my cooking needs.

This electric wok is so convenient and easy to use. Its 15 heat settings also make it very versatile and it is easy to clean.

Having bought one of these I seriously doubt that I would contemplate returning to my Pau wok!

 

The Non Stick Wok - A flat bottom wok with a non stick coating

Typhoon Non Stick Professional Wok, 14-Inches, Flat Bottom, Gloss Black
Typhoon Non Stick Professional Wok, 14-Inches, Flat Bottom, Gloss Black

This is the wok that I have!

Ok, it is more expensive, but I am impatient! Personally I don't like to have to season my wok and then re season it if I have to scrub it for some reason. I would rather go for convenience and have my wok ready to use when I need it!

The great advantage of this wok is that its coating is 'metal tool safe' so the non stick coating doesn't get ruined if you do happen to use a metal tool in it as other non stick coatings might.

 

How To Season A Wok

The method for preparing a new wok for use

Seasoning a wok isn't difficult and all woks except the non stick ones need to be seasoned.

Some woks need to be well scrubbed first as well because they have been covered in a machine oil which has been applied by the manufacturer to protect the wok in transit. This is the only time you should scrub your wok - unless you let it get rusty!

  • Scrub your wok with cream cleaner and water to remove as much of the machine oil as possible.
  • Dry the wok and put it on the hob on a low heat.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil and rub this over the inside of the wok with kitchen paper until the entire surface is coated with oil.
  • Heat the wok slowly for about 10 to 15 minutes and then wipe it thoroughly with more kitchen paper. The paper will become blackened.
  • Repeat the process of coating, heating and wiping until the kitchen paper wipes clean.
  • Your wok will darken and become well seasoned with use.

If you live in the UK you may have seen Ching-He Huang in her new BBC2 series she re-invents the nation's favourite Chinese dishes, modernising them with fresh, easy to buy ingredients, and offering simple practical tips and techniques. These are brought together in this beautiful book to accompany the series. Drawing on the experiences of top chefs, her family and friends, growers and producers and celebrity enthusiasts Ching sets out to discover the best Chinese cooking in the UK today, introducing easy-to-make Chinese food to sometimes resistant Brits, and painting a picture of modern Anglo-Chinese life in the UK as she goes. Chinese Food Made Easy begins with some of the most familiar dishes from a Chinese takeaway menu - Sweet & Sour Prawns, Chicken with Cashew Nuts, Chop Suey and Cantonese Vegetable Stir Fry, each with Ching's special and imaginative twist. Later we explore spicy Szechuan food: Noodles, Dumplings and Dim sum; Seafood; Fast Food; Desserts and finally Celebratory Food, where Ching presents a complete banquet of dishes to celebrate the Chinese New Year.Ching's knowledge, charm and enthusiasm shine through as she shares the 'basic principles' of Chinese cooking including some of the simple techniques and tips taught by her Grandparents for tasty results. Using ingredients from high-street supermarkets and some imaginative suggestions for alternative ingredients, these classic Chinese dishes are updated, fresh and healthily prepared so that anyone can make and enjoy them.

Cleaning Your Wok

Never scrub a seasoned wok!

Wash it in plain warm water without any detergent the dry it thoroughly (preferably by putting it over a low heat for a while) before storing.

This should prevent your wok from rusting, but if it does then scrub off the rust with a cream cleaner and repeat the whole seasoning process.

Get Help With Your Wok Cooking With These Great Books.

Wok You Got To Say About It?

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    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 5 years ago from Virginia

      Got the cooks of our house one this past Christmas and it appears they love the thing with the two handles. Nicely done lens.

    • profile image

      scar4 7 years ago

      I'm a fan of Chinese cooking, but I got only one round wok in my kitchen, is that matter if I want to cook something else?

    • StrangeConversa profile image

      StrangeConversa 8 years ago

      I just realised I've been neglecting my wok! Interesting stuff though. I'm also a fan of chinese and thai cooking, and recently purchased a rather expensive wok which has definitely proved its worth.

    • squid-janices7 profile image

      squid-janices7 8 years ago

      I love my Wok too! We stir fry all the time - cashew chicken, peanutty beef, veggie chow mein. The dishes are usually pretty healthy and you can't beat it when it comes to cooking times. Great lens! 5*

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I love stir fried vegetables and a wok is great for that. I don't use mine everyday but I should.

      Great lens

      LizzyJean

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      We use our Wok all the time and not just for Asian food.

      Great lens

      Lizzy

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I'm more accustomed to cooking with a wok than anything else. It's how I learned to cook. I have 3 woks of different sizes and, apart from a small pot that I use occasionally to boil an egg and a couple of roasting pans/baking trays, it's all I need for my kitchen. I can't imagine how people manage without a wok. How can you make laksa in a frying pan?

    • A RovingReporter profile image

      A RovingReporter 9 years ago

      This lens sure woks. 5*

    • californianative profile image

      californianative 9 years ago

      I love cooking in my wok. It's fast, easy and healthy!

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 9 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      Wonderful information about woks! I use mine daily.

    • profile image

      poutine 9 years ago

      I use the non stick wok also. It's so much easier.

      Poutine

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 9 years ago

      Great information on woks. I need a new one!

    • profile image

      tashad17 9 years ago

      Im looking into getting a wok. You gave me some good info. Thanks!

    • The Homeopath profile image

      The Homeopath 9 years ago

      Now I'm hungry. Thanks.

    • ArtSiren LM profile image

      ArtSiren LM 9 years ago

      Great lens! Thanks for featuring one of my recipes. I generally use pau woks, the non-stick ones, for practically everything I cook! lol. 5*

    • ssuthep profile image

      ssuthep 9 years ago

      I use a pau wok. love to use my wok and this lens too.