A wok pan is a circular frying pan with a rounded bottom and sloping sides. It is traditionally used in Chinese cooking.
Woks are made from carbon steel, but some modern woks are made from stainless steel or nonstick coated cast iron. The traditional shape of a wok has two handles and a flared base with a circular indentation on one side for holding onto the hot metal during cooking.
How to Select the Best Wok for Your Needs
With the many different types of wok pans out there, it can be hard to find the one that is best suited for your needs. There are factors that you should consider when choosing a wok.
Factors to consider when choosing a wok:
- Size of the pan — A smaller pan will allow you to cook more food at once but may be harder to handle. A larger pan will give you more cooking surface area and accommodate bigger portions, but it might be less stable and require more space on your stovetop.
- Material — some materials are better than others for certain types of cooking. Stainless steel is usually a good option for searing meats and delicate dishes like stir-fries or omelettes, whereas carbon steel is better for braising meat.
Seasoning Your Wok
Woks can be purchased pre-seasoned or unseasoned, depending on personal preference and the type of cuisine being cooked with it.
Woks are traditionally seasoned with salt, pepper, and a little oil. The ingredients are typically ground together in a mortar and pestle. There are many variations of the seasoning process, including using soy sauce or cayenne pepper.
The traditional method is labour-intensive and requires a lot of hands-on time to complete. Modern methods include using an electric grinder for grinding the ingredients together or using a food processor to grind them into tiny bits before adding them to the wok.
The steps in seasoning a wok are:
- Heat the oil in a wok.
- Add garlic, ginger, and scallions.
- Add the chicken and stir fry until it turns white.
- Add the soy sauce and water.
- Stir fry for a few minutes more until the liquid has evaporated completely.
Wok’s Proper Storage
Wok pans are designed to be used on a gas or electric stovetop. They are intended to be held with both hands, so they should not be stored on their handles.
Here are some tips on how to store your wok pans safely:
- Store your wok pans on their side or flat against the wall with their handles facing up. This will help prevent them from rolling and breaking when stacked together.
- If you have a lot of wok pans, use a shelf unit with wheels or place them on top of a cabinet that has wheels. The shelf unit will be easier to move around if needed, while the cabinet should be sturdy enough not to tip over when it is moved while
Woks have gained popularity in recent years due to their health benefits. They are considered healthier than other cookware because their high heat retention allows for quick cooking, and the food does not stick to the pan.
This type of pan is an investment that can be used for many years. They are not just for cooking Asian dishes, but they work well with other cuisines.