Meaty foods are not the only thing that goes in it. This kitchen cookware comes with a variety of uses. Vegetables are among the million things you can do with a wok if you own one. Generally, you can cook any type of vegetable in a wok and get better results. Whether you want them pre-cooked for incorporating in your food as toppings or as a salad, it is always easy with a wok. Here is how to cook any vegetables with a wok and add important vitamins and minerals to your diet.
How to Cook Vegetables in a Wok: Stir-frying, Steaming, Boiling
1. Stir-frying vegetables
One of the many uses of a wok is for stir-frying, and it works the same way with other types of foods. You need to apply the same technique with little skills to get everything started. You need to work with dry vegetables and therefore wash and let the vegetables dry before placing them on the wok. Stir-frying is a quicker method to make your favorite vegetables ready even when running short of time.
Prepare the veggies
Have the veggies ready by chopping them beforehand. Cut the vegetables uniformly to get a faster and even cook.
Preheat the wok
Have the wok on a burner and turn on the heat until it’s hot enough without overheating. Add two tablespoons of vegetable cooking oil and swirl it for the oil to cover the bottom surface. If in case the wok gets overheated, remove it from heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes. Burnt oil will make the vegetables taste bad, so it is better to replace the burnt oil and re-do the process.
If your vegetable recipe involves aromatics, they should be the first thing to put on the oil. Stir-fry them for a few seconds until they start to turn light brown.
Add all the vegetables you want to cook or the amount the wok can accommodate. Season them by adding salt to taste and pepper.
Leet cook for up to 2 minutes and then stir-fry for an additional one minute. You can add sauce to the vegetables and stir fry and then cover it to cook for a few more seconds.
Remove when tender and crispy.
2. Steaming vegetables
Steaming is the second method on how to cook vegetables on a wok. To steam vegetables on a wok, you will need a steam basket. This method does not require any special cooking skills to get everything right. Some vegetables take longer to steam than others. For example, you need three minutes for spinach.
Cut the vegetables you want to cook in the same sizes and set them aside. Uniform cut vegetable cooks evenly. Medium or smaller pieces will take a shorter time to steam compared to larger vegetable sizes.
Add water to the wok and let it boil. Set the heat to high to have the water boil faster. Place the ready vegetables on the steamer basket and place them on the wok. The vegetables should steam on medium heat, and therefore, you need to reduce the heat.
Cover the wok and give it some time to cook before checking. You have tender vegetables ready within a few minutes. Harder ones like potatoes will take longer. You know they are ready when feeling tender and still crunchy. You can test with a knife, preferably a paring knife.
Serve when ready and season with your favorite ingredient like lemon.
Unlike steaming, you do not require a steamer basket to have the vegetables boil in a wok. With the wok on heat, add a good amount of water enough to boil the vegetables. Tender vegetables take less time to boil, while harder ones like carrots take more time to cook. The best way to boil with a wok is not to let the food overcook. Always cut the vegetables into uniform sizes, add them to the wok, cover the lid and let simmer. A well-boiled vegetable will not lose its nutrients.
Blanching or parboiling with vegetables in a wok
Some vegetables do not require boiling, but the recipe involves the use of boiling water. These methods make the vegetables pre-cooked and ready for other cooking methods or add to other food recipes.
Parboiling vegetables in a wok require boiling water set ready. While still heating, add the vegetables and quickly cook them for a few seconds. Remove and set it aside.
To have blanched vegetables, bring the water to boil. Dip your already cleaned vegetables into the water that has boiled. Please do this for a few seconds and then dip it again, but this time on ice water. It is a quicker way to prepare vegetables without having to deal with odor or stuck skins.
The vegetables to cook first in a wok
It’s fun cooking in the wok, but to avoid overcooking or undercooking vegetables, you should start with certain veggies. If mixing different vegetables in one cooking batch, always start with the ones that take longer to cook, like potatoes and carrots. You can then add the ones that take medium time to cook after a few minutes of cooking. Lastly, add the ones that take the shortest time to get cooked.
This combination will ensure all the vegetables on the wok are well cooked. The other way would be to cook the same vegetables falling in the same category of cooking together. Its time consuming if you have a lot to cook and not convenient if one category has few vegetables that would lead to wastage of fuel.
Read more: How to Cook Stir Fry in a Wok
Vegetables do not only add us minerals, but they serve great as toppings. They give our foods so much color and make the foods delicious and irresistible. If you are preparing it as side dishes, the wok is the fastest way to do it. Cooking vegetables need undivided attention as they take less time to cook. If left unattended, veggies can burn and destroy the flavors. It will only take you 1-7 minutes to cook veggies on a wok. All vegetables can be mixed in a wok or cooked in batches to avoid over steaming.