A wok is a versatile cooking tool that can never miss any kitchen of an Asian’s food enthusiast. It works well with different cooking methods. For instance, you can use it to deep fry, steam, braise, or even smoke. No special skills are needed to operate this kitchen tool.
It’s no longer a part of just the Chinese people but it is becoming more popular in the western world as well.
The moment you realize how to cook with it, you will find yourself making it your favorite cooking pot. In this guide, we’ll show you how to safely cook with a wok.
Prepare the wok for cooking
Before cooking on your wok, you need to ensure it is ready for cooking. Whether it’s new or you are using it for the millionth time, it needs preparation. The cooking process should start with a clean and seasoned wok.
If it requires cleaning, wash the wok with a soft sponge and soap. You can do this if you had forgotten to wash it after use, or if it’s still new.
Ensure the wok is dry before using. You can dry it using a kitchen/paper towel or over the fire or oven. Spread a thin layer of vegetable oil or margarine around the entire inner surface of the wok.
Please put it on top of the burner and set the heat to high. Let it heat until it’s smoking hot, and then remove the wok from the fire. Let it cool a little before cooking.
Cooking different types of foods on a wok
Not all foods prepared on a wok will be the same. Foods get categorized into group such as meat, cereals, legumes, meats, and so forth. All these foods don’t cook similarly when prepared with a wok. Knowing approximately the needed time for each food is of paramount importance to avoid over/undercooking your meals.
Vegetables on a wok
Cooking vegetables on a wok do not take much time to get ready. If you intend to prepare some potatoes, zucchinis, baby carrots, peas, among other vegetables, it’s pretty easy. You are sure to get the vegetables ready within 1-7 minutes.
Some vegetables will take a shorter time to cook while others will take up to seven minutes or more depending on the heat and the amount to get cooked. Using a wok to prepare hard and soft vegetables is an easy thing to do. All that is needed is frequent stirring while they’re still cooking to avoid sticking or burning.
Bring the restaurant at home by using the wok for cooking tasty meaty foods at home. Meaty recipes require a different amount of time to get ready. When you cook with a wok, the food gets cooked in about four or seven minutes.
These types of foods add aroma to the foods we cook. It gives the food a nice flavor, and it’s a nice way to incorporate them into our recipes. Adding ingredients like ginger, garlic, and chilies requires medium to high heat when using a wok for cooking.
Cooking grains like rice with a wok needs pre-heating before adding them to the wok. The versatility of a wok allows you to make different dishes. Here’s how to approach different cooking methods with a wok;
1. Deep frying : A wok works best with deep-fried foods, and it fries better. You can cook deep-fried meals by simply adding a good amount of oil to the wok. There are no likely chances of a messed-up kitchen with oil spilling from the wok to the other surfaces. You will need medium to high heat, depending on what you are frying.
2. Steaming : To use a wok for food steaming, you will need to purchase a steaming basket. It needs to get placed on to the wok before adding the foodstuffs you need to steam. You can use a bamboo steamer basket or a rack. Place it on the burner and allow the water to boil; it’s when you can insert the steamer basket.
3. Smoking : Smoking food with a wok requires heavy-duty aluminum foil paper. Cover the entire surface of the inner part of the wok. Allow it to overlap to the outside to ensure it perfectly covers the metal edge rack.
Add the ingredients you want to smoke the food with on top of the foil paper and turn the heat into medium heat. Let it heat for a few minutes, and then add a rack on the wok. Put the food you wish to smoke at the rack’s center and cover it with another aluminum foil paper.
4. Braising : It would help if you had low heat to braise food on a wok. Add a little amount of oil to the wok with a little liquid and then simmer until well cooked.
Oil is an important recipe in cooking with a wok; it’s needed both before and after cooking. You need to have oil by your side at all times. For seasoning the wok, oil is needed. You also require oil for cooking your meals. Use the correct oil, whether it’s peanut oil or whatever works best for your cooking.
Always season the wok before cooking. It makes cooking easier as the wok becomes non-stick. You don’t want to end up with food sticking on the sides or at the bottom. A burnt food doesn’t taste good as the food’s flavor gets lost. A sticky wok is also difficult to cook with when you want to stir the food. This is why seasoning is important to have stress-free cooking. Putting a tablespoonful of oil into the wok and swirling it is a step you don’t wish to miss.
Read more :How to Cook With a Wok on a Gas Stove
You don’t need to be Asian to figure out how to use the wok. Little basic is all is needed to get you started. Cooking with a wok is so much fun, and it can do more things than you ever imagined. With a wok, you may not find the need to purchase different appliances when it can do the work needed. With little basic, cooking with a wok is the easiest thing to use.