The wok is probably the most famous Chinese
cooking utensil. Everyone knows what a wok is; however,
very few westerners use it, while almost every single Chinese
use it everyday.
As the most 'useful' Chinese cooking utensil
(or tool), the wok is designed with a round bottom that
fits perfectly over a traditional Chinese 'stove' - often
made of clay or mud which burned wood or charcoal.
The wok's shape makes it the ideal Chinese
tool for stir-frying. The round bottom makes sure the ingredients
remains in the center where the heat is most intense. With
a little oil, you can almost stir-fry anything in under
The wok is an all purpose Chinese cooking
utensil that you can use for almost any type of cooking
such as steaming, stewing, braising, smoking, and of course,
stir-frying. With its original round bottom design, the
wok isn't ideal to use on the flat stove tops. Most round
bottom woks comes with a steal ring, that helps secure it
in place while you cook.
You can now get flat bottom woks that sits
nicely over an stove element; however, I still prefer to
use the round bottom woks. You can find many different types
of woks now - Teflon woks, round bottom woks, flat bottoms,
double handle and single handle woks.
So what's right for you? After all, the wok
is the most used Chinese cooking utensil.
The double handled wok is the more popular
type than the single handle wok. It sits over your stove
top with an adapter ring under it to hold it in place. Any
tossing would be difficult with the double handle woks.
The single handle woks are excellent for tossing
the ingredients. The long handle gives you good leverage
for flipping the wok and tossing the ingredients.
What do I think of electric woks? Don't use
them. They lack the power to generate enough heat for a
good, quick stir-fry. The key to a successful stir-fry is
all in the temperature. Gas burning stoves are the best,
then electric stoves. Learn
about Chinese cooking and cooking techniques here.
Chinese cooking utensil - seasoning the wok.
Most woks are made from carbon steel or iron. Before you
use your new wok, you need to season it. Here's how:
First clean the wok in warm water with a stiff
brush. Dry it, and then heat the wok on a stove to high,
then pour in a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Use a cloth
or paper towel and thoroughly wipe the inside of the wok
with the oil. Careful not to burn yourself. Turn off the
heat, and let the wok cool, now your wok is seasoned.
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