The earliest woks weren't woks at all, but cast-iron pans with sloping
sides great for tossing and stirring a lot of food easily. Developed as
result of the frugal use of fuel, historians also think
that there's a connection between the helmuts and shields of the
invading Mongols and woks.
Modern woks are very versatile. They can be used for almost any type
cooking: stir frying, deep frying, steaming, stewing, and even
baking a cake. A wide variety of different materials, sizes and shapes
available nowadays. When selecting a
wok you must consider the type of range you have. If you
have a gas range, you may use either a round-bottom or
flat-bottom wok. If you have an electric range, the
flat-bottom style is the best choice. By selecting your wok
appropriately, you will eliminate the need of a ring stand.
Most Woks range in sizes from 10" to 16", the 14" is the most
preferable size which is adequate for the preparation of most
dishes in the cookbook.
Although Woks are available in many different types of materials,
the traditional wok made from uncoated carbon steel is the most
popular one. This material conducts
heat well and is the most economical to purchase.
General Wok Cooking Instructions
- Always check to see if you have all the ingredients on hand before
- Cut up your meat and vegetables, marinating any that require this
process. Set aside for cooking, if you are cooking several wok dishes
at the same meal, prepare all of them before cooking any.
- Place oil in wok, heat until oil just begins to smoke.
- Stir fry your meat, onions, or garlic together. Then add other
- If a gravy is desired, use a little corn starch (about 1
tablespoon) dissolved in 1/3 cup of water. Stir this mixture
vigorously and pour into your wok on top of your cooked food. Mix
thoroughly. Your gravy should be just the right consistency. In case
it is too thick, add hot water a tablespoon at a time to thin gravy
out. If the gravy is too thin, mix up more corn starch solution and
- If you are cooking several wok dishes at the same meal, and are
worried about keeping them all warm, heat your oven up to 150'C. and
store cooked dishes in it until eating time. Maximum storage time is
about one hour. DO NOT store cooked leaft green vegetables in this
manner as they will turn yellow. Instead, leave those in an uncovered
wok and reheat at meal time. If you have an electric hot tray, it is
excellent for keeping dishes warm.
Caring For & Storing The Wok
A properly seasoned wok should not be scoured with
abrasive material such as steel wool. After cooking
foods in the wok, it is best to run very hot water
into it and clean the surface of the wok with a bamboo
brush or plastic scour. Dry the wok thoroughly with a
paper towel and store for future use. Some gourmets
will place a small amount of oil on their fingertips
to re-coat their woks to keep them in top cooking
condition. Eventually through repeated usage, a dark
brown film will develop in the wok. The wok is now
truly seasoned. This film is essentially carbon and is
not harmful to one's health. The bottom of the woks,
the part that touches the cooking flame of the stove
should definitely be scoured over occasionally to free
it of collected residue.
If one has the misfortune to accidentally burn food in
the wok, it will be necessary to take steel wool and
scour out the burnt material and then re-season the
wok once again. Each time that one has to scour out
the wok with abrasive material, then one should
re-season the wok.
Stainless steel woks sometimes stick when used to cook
omelettes or for stir-frying meats. To overcome this
problem, one can spend five minutes to "season" the
wok before use or spray a coating of lecithin on the
surface of the wok to allow for easy gliding of the
foods. Lecithin is sold commercially under several
brand names as "non-stick" cooking aids.
This one got perfect review but it is a little steep on price. I would get this if I can afford it.
Otherwise, you may get this one: