- Food and Cooking
I Love My Wok!
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.