6 Fundamentals While Cooking with A Wok
A wok is a versatile kitchenware that most people love to use to prepare various dishes. When you cook your vegetables and meat it seems like all drama. As the high flames curve around the pan and the contents tossed up and down. Therefore, although you can use a frying pan, if you want a fast meal, the wok will provide that as it distributes the heat evenly, and it is now loved in most restaurants and homes as well. Not only can you use a wok to stir fry but you can also use it to stew, boil, and steam, among other dishes that a household needs. However, it is vital to be familiar with the fundamentals of wok cookery as in the article below.
Choose the right wok for you
Although a good wok is essential in a household. It is best to choose the right wok depending on the cooker that you have at home. For instance, the type of wok you choose with an electric cooker is different from the one using the gas flame stove. Also, you can choose them according to the material they have. Many people prefer the Chinese carbon steel wok as it heats up quickly and cools down faster. Consider the handles if you want one long one or the two ear handles depending on what you will be using it for. Fortunately, woks are very stable and safe, and one with an at least 12-inch diameter is best for the home.
Season the wok’s surface before you cook
While using a wok, it is always important to season the surface before cooking. This will prevent your food from sticking to the surface. For instance, if you are cooking chicken and it sticks on the surface it will burn before the whole chicken is ready. Therefore, it will not only change the flavor of the food, but it makes it a challenge to move the rest of the dish around the wok. For this reason, make your wok a nonstick pan by putting your oil into the wok before cooking and pouring it into a heatproof container as it gets smoking hot. Afterward, you add some fresh oil that you will use for cooking, and this will make it easy for you to turn and toss your dish around.
Know the right heat
When you need a classic stir fry while cooking with a wok. It is best done at very high heat. Therefore, crank up the heat depending on the dish you are making to get the best of it. A bit of smoke or a bit of hissing is not as bad when you are making a stir fry. However, ensure your oil is not too hot before you put your spices. Hence the need to season your wok to avoid the aromatics sticking on the pan instead of blending with your dish. If you love garlic, chives, and other flavors, time the oil after seasoning to have them extract their flavor without burning them after you turn up your heat levels.
Look beyond stir-frying
The wok is very economical as you can use it for more than stir-frying. It is perfect for deep frying as you use much less oil than while you are using a frying pan. Also, you can use it to make stews, boiling, and also as a smoker. Additionally, others use it for steaming, for instance, by putting a bamboo steamer in the wok. Optionally, you can steam by adding metal trivets at the bottom of the wok, and lay a dish on the trivet and cover. All these are possible with a wok and you can enjoy various tasty dishes as long as you know how to make them using a wok.
Do separate recipes
It is important if you have dishes that cook at different rates that you do them separately. For instance, if you have some beef slices and some crunchy vegetables. Do not cook them at once, try incorporating the vegetables at the end to get both just right. Afterward, you can add the beef and serve as they have both cooked well. Therefore, you will not have an issue of one is overcooked and another is raw since you tweaked the timing. Also, if you want to make more food, avoid doubling the recipes. It is best to do the same thing twice than having to stir fry a lot of food as it will not all get that searing heat. Optionally, if you are making food for many people, do not make everything a stir fry as it is tiresome. Stew some, cook the rice separately and do some cold dishes.
Wok care is easy
In a Chinese household, the wok is common cookware. Hence, they know how to care for it well. However, it is not as hard if you are using it for the first time. Firstly, they are indestructible, and you can give it a good scrub if it needs one. However, remember to season it once you have it clean. As part of wok care, you will require a scoop for scooping stock water or oil as it is better than others that can chip the surface of the wok. A bamboo brush is important as well to help clean between dishes while it’s still hot. However, ensure the bristles are the quality that won’t melt. Also, a slotted spoon and a ladle are other utensils that will help while using a wok.
In summary, the wok is a versatile tool to have in every home kitchen as well as for commercial use. It provides uniform cooking and at the same, it helps prepare a large number of meals that rarely spillover due to the high sides of its design. Try learning the toss if you want to cook food faster, and you will love your vegetable or meat stir-fries. This is a good investment as it is affordable and adaptable as a kitchen tool.