Looking for a fun, fast way to get dinner on the table? Break out your wok! In minutes you can stir-fry a family favorite, like Beef and Sugar Snap Stir-Fry. The wok isn’t an unfamiliar piece of equipment to most people; any moderately well-appointed kitchen will probably have one. But I do think there are serious problems with the way it’s generally used. The wok is a tool that’s designed to do a very specific job — cook quickly over extremely high heat.
The key thing about stir-frying isn’t the flavors, but the technique: high heat, short cooking time, frequent tossing. And there’s no reason why that technique should be limited to Chinese food. For me, I think spring is the ideal time to break out the wok, because the extremely short cooking time ends up maintaining the delicate flavors and textures of spring vegetables
How to Season a Wok
To break in a new wok, start by seasoning it, a process of cooking on a protective coating of oil (as you would treat a cast iron pan) so that the surface is naturally nonstick and resistant to rust.
Scrub the wok with steel wool, hot water and soap to remove the factory coating. Dry thoroughly.
Preheat the wok over high heat; add 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1/2 cup sliced fresh ginger and 1 bunch spring onions, cut into 2-inch pieces. Stir-fry over medium heat, pressing the oily aromatics over the entire surface for 15 minutes. Rinse the wok with hot water and wipe with a soft sponge. Dry with a towel or place the rinsed wok on the stove top over low heat until thoroughly dried.
Preparation is Everything
Prepare all of your ingredients before you begin cooking. Make sure they are organised at your work space and that you know what your moves are going to be. Separate the main ingredients from sauce ingredients and aromatics, if that helps. The wok cooks very quickly at high heat levels, so you need to be at the wok at all times.
Preheat, Preheat, Preheat
Preheat the wok before doing anything. Even before you add oil to the wok, it should be preheated until it begins to smoke. A well-seasoned and properly cleaned wok will always have micro pores in the metal that hold some oil or food particulate. Your wok will talk to you by smoking and tell you when it’s ready, releasing the flavour stored in the wok before you add the oil. Once the oil is added, the pores will begin to close.
Our favourite type of wok to use, is a hand hammered wok. If you’ve never tried one before then you’ve been missing out! You can buy our favourite hand hammered wok here and if you fancy winning one for yourself, just enter via the rafflecopter below. Good luck!