How to cook with a wok

For hundreds of years, woks have been an integral part of Asian cooking. In recent times, the wok has additionally been embraced by cooks all through the world due to its simplicity and skill to create wholesome meals.


A wok is formed like a big bowl and normally made out of carbon metal, with some alternate options being aluminum and forged iron. The range prime wok’s rounded backside nestles into the grates of a fuel vary. This initiatives the flames’ warmth right into a scorching spot on the wok’s backside.


A wok’s principal benefit is that cooks can create wholesome meals in a comparatively quick period of time. Little oil is utilized in getting ready greens, meats or seafood. Greens retain a crisp, crunchy texture, whereas the meats and seafood don’t soak up giant quantities of oil, which is heart-healthy.


Range prime woks include each rounded and flat bottoms. The rounded match simply right into a fuel vary’s grates. For electrical ranges, a flat backside is normally vital. There are additionally electrical woks available on the market, however they typically don’t work as effectively as a result of they can’t attain the excessive temperatures wanted for stir-frying, for example.


Woks additionally get rid of the necessity to prepare dinner with a variety of pots and pans. One wok can maintain a wide range of substances. Woks are also helpful for sauteing, deep frying or steaming.

Woks needs to be seasoned with oil earlier than their first use. Don’t use dish cleaning soap to wash. Merely rinse with very popular water and a plastic scouring pad.

Learn to select wok, methods to season a wok correctly and methods to clear a wok so you may be whipping up stir-fries and extra very quickly.

A carbon-steel wok is one among my all-time favourite kitchen instruments. It's cheap—you’ll find it at houseware shops or Asian grocery shops for about $20—and it undoubtedly turns out to be useful for fast stir-fry dinners. The fantastic thing about the bowl-shaped frying pan? As soon as seasoned, it has a pure nonstick floor, like a cast-iron skillet (observe: we by no means advocate nonstick woks).

Selecting a Wok

A 14-inch flat-bottomed carbon-steel wok with an extended wood deal with is one of the best all-purpose wok. The carbon metal heats shortly and conducts warmth effectively, which means it will possibly prepare dinner meals quick to offer it traditional Chinese language-style seared taste. Wooden is right for the handles because it doesn't get scorching or soften. I additionally favor a wok with two handles because it makes it simpler to maneuver the massive pan across the kitchen. And the flat backside provides the wok extra contact with the burner—particularly necessary you probably have an electrical or below powered fuel vary. You will discover a wok for $20-$40 at kitchenware shops or at

Purchase a Wok: My favourite wok is bought by the Wok Store ($35).

A well-seasoned wok has a naturally "nonstick" floor, which lets you prepare dinner with much less oil whereas stopping meals from sticking to the pan. Seasoned woks have been coated with oil and heated to a excessive temperature-allowing the oil to deeply penetrate the steel of the pan. Most woks are bought with none seasoning, so it is advisable season your wok earlier than use, following the producer's directions or the standard methodology featured under.

The right way to Season a Wok

The very best seasoning methodology I've used comes from Chinese language-cuisine guru Grace Younger, often known as the "Poet Laureate of the Wok". Right here's her methods to:

1. Scrub a carbon-steel wok with cleaning soap, scorching water and a steel-wool pad. Rinse and dry totally.

2. Warmth the wok over excessive warmth till a bead of water dropped on the floor vaporizes immediately.

3. Swirl 2 tablespoons of peanut oil or vegetable oil into the pan.

4. Add 1/2 cup sliced unpeeled ginger and 1 bunch scallions lower into 2-inch items.

5. Scale back the warmth to medium and stir-fry the combination, urgent it into the perimeters of the wok as you go.

6. Preserve stir-frying and urgent the seasoning all around the wok for about 15 minutes.

7. Take away from warmth and let cool. Discard the scallions and ginger. Rinse with scorching water. Your wok is now prepared to make use of! And it’ll get higher and higher over time.

Cleansing Your Wok

By no means use cleaning soap and don't wash a seasoned wok within the dishwasher, because the detergents will harm the seasoning. Merely clear it with scorching water and a tender sponge. When you’ve got any hard-to-release meals, fill the wok with an inch or so of water and gently warmth on the range to loosen the meals. Rinse the pan totally. Air-drying a wok could trigger it to rust. As a substitute, place over low warmth till all of the water has evaporated, 1 to three minutes. Or wipe fully dry with a towel earlier than storing.

No Wok?

A 12-inch stainless-steel skillet will work for many stir-fry recipes (we like this one from All-Clad). For one of the best success, use a bit extra oil and scale back the warmth to medium-high to stop the meals from sticking and burning. Don't use a nonstick wok or conventional nonstick skillet for stir-frying. They shouldn’t be used over excessive warmth and gained't give a correct sear to the meals.

A well-seasoned, well-loved wok will final you a lot scrumptious years. Use these steps to season your wok and maintain it in tip-top form for each use. For added inspiration, take a look at our Wholesome Stir-Fry Recipes.