Home » The Peculiarities of Using and Choosing a Wok

The Peculiarities of Using and Choosing a Wok

by Eloiza

This bowl-shaped frying pan is used by Southeast Asians in place of the pots and pressure cookers we are accustomed to. After tasting dishes prepared in a wok in a Chinese restaurant, many decide to purchase it for home use. Let’s see what advantages this pan provides, which one is better to choose and how to cook on it.

What does this frying method give, and what are the advantages of a wok pan?

Speed. The main advantage of a wok pan is that it heats evenly around the entire circumference. In this case, the main heat is concentrated at the base of the pan, and the edges are cooler. This allows you to cook food with lightning speed, placing the meat in the center, and vegetables along the walls of the pan.

The second advantage is versatility and functionality. In addition to the usual frying in such dishes, you can stew, smoke, steam or cook soups, use combined processing methods.

By reducing the heat treatment time, the useful properties, taste and appetizing appearance of food are preserved as much as possible. Products are fried so quickly that they form a crust that seals juices and nutrients inside.

The constant movement of food pieces in the wok prevents the oil from being absorbed, thus minimizing the fat content of cooked meals. The Chinese pan also implies a complete absence of oil, you can cook in it based on sauces.

Dimensions

Woks offered in stores range from 15 to 76 cm in diameter. When choosing the right size, it is necessary to take into account the number of servings to be cooked at the same time. The most popular are 15-28 cm (for 1-2 servings) and 30-38 cm (for 3-5 servings). The most optimal size is considered to be 25-28 cm. Such a pan is light, compact and at the same time quite roomy.

Bottom shape

Asian cuisine uses round-bottomed woks, which are considered traditional and are ideal for cooking on special burners or over an open fire. For use on gas, induction and glass-ceramic stoves, it is better to take a pan with a flat bottom, they are more stable, it is easier to work with such pans.

Handle

Woks with two handles are suitable for cooking in special ovens and over open fires. With one handle – ideal for the stove. Handle material may vary. Metal ones are usually solid, durable, but heat up quickly. Silicone does not get hot, but can melt. Bakelites do not heat up, but are not suitable for use in the oven. The most common option is plastic.

How to cook in a wok?

The most common wok dishes are roasts, stews, pilaf, meat with side dishes, and French fries. Here are some Chinese wok cooking techniques.

All ingredients must be prepared in advance, before cooking.

The harder the vegetables, the thinner they are cut. You can cut into cubes or straws.

You can only cook with sunflower, sesame or peanut (in liquid form) oil. Creamy and olive oil are not suitable for frying.

Spread the products only in a hot pan in small portions of 50-60 grams. If you put more, the temperature in the wok will drop and the meat and vegetables will give juice. Then the stewing process will begin, not frying.

In the process of cooking, the fire is not reduced.

Stir the products from the center of the wok to the walls. Thanks to this technique, the fried pieces will not burn and will reach the desired stage on the walls of the pan.

If you plan to fry several products at the same time, then the harder and thicker ones are laid out first. For example, the order of the bookmark can be: pork or beef, carrots, onions, bell peppers, herbs, sauce, spices, pasta or rice.

Rice, noodles or pasta must be boiled in advance. Add them at the very end to the finished dish.

Find the best variety of Woks available on the Wowcher website.

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