Wok

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Stir frying with a wok

Buying and seasoning a wok

The wok is a versatile round bottomed cooking vessel originating in the country of China. It is used especially in East and Southeast Asia.

It is most often used for stir frying, but can also be used many other ways, such as in steaming, deep frying, braising, stewing, or making soup. It is commonly, almost exclusively, cooked with a long handle "chahn" (spatula) and/or a long handle "hauk" (ladle). The reason why these utensils are longer than normal is to allow the cook to stir and manipulate the food without burning one's hand(s).

The best place to buy authentic woks are Chinese or ethnic food wholesalers such as at Seewoo.

To ensure the wok does not stick, it needs to be properly "seasoned" (nothing to do with salt and pepper). A good article on wok seasoning can be found here

Wok maintenance and cleaning

Once a wok is properly seasoned, clean it with a rinse with boiling water and a wipe around with a cloth or even a light scouring with a pad if it's really grimy. Followed be drying with a paper towel and then a wipe round with a paper towel to which a tiny drop of cooking oil has been applied.

I heard people say that you should never use detergent on a wok. I disagree, provided the wok is well seasoned and used regularly. Now and then I use detergent together with a scouring pad if it needs a good clean. I then dry as above and it is better than any 'non-stick' pan. The trick is regular use. I use mine daily and have never re-seasoned it since the day I bought it.

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