How To Use A Wok Properly

Learn how to use a wok properly. Cooking with a wok is a great healthy and quick method of cooking, here's a few basic guidelines for beginners.

Before you use your wok it is essential to wipe the pan inside and out with oiled kitchen paper and heat to a high heat in the oven or on the hob. Remove the wok from the heat allow it to cool and repeat the process several times to give a good coating - this will make it easier to clean and give it a non-stick coating.

Using the wok

When cooking with a wok the pan needs to be of a very high temperature before the food is placed in the pan. Once the pan is hot enough and the food is placed inside the wok you kneed to keep turning the ingredients to ensure that they are kept hot. Using a wok is a good, healthy and quick way to cook vegetables in stir-fried. Cooking for too long will make the ingredients either burn or be saturated with their own juices and become limp and soggy. Vegetables cooked in a wok should be crispy, not wet.

Stir-frying

This cooking method originated in China, and remains the more recognised form of Chinese cooking. In China it is called Ch'au which means that a number of ingredients are sliced and cooked in 1-2 tablespoons of fat.



Stir-frying is usually done in stages, this allows foods that have different cooking times to be removed and then returned at a later stage. The dish is then brought together at the end and sauces/apices are added and then the dish is served as a whole.

There are two different types of stir-frying: Liu is wet frying with slow stirring and more turning of the individual foods. A stock is then added at the end of the cooking time for a coating sauce.

Pao requires foods to be fried at the highest possible heat. This is a quick method lasting for usually only a minute.

Cleaning your wok

Woks should be cleaned with simple soap and water. If made of cast iron it should be dried immediately to prevent rusting. The blackening of a wok over time and use is not dirt, as some would believe, it simply is a sign that it has been used well. It is said that the blacker the wok the better the cook.

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