A wok is one of the most versatile tools you can have when it comes to fast, flavorful food. There are some basic wok skills that you will need though in order to turn a great stir-fried meal. Otherwise, you could end up with a mushy, pale mess that isn’t very appetizing.
It’s All in the Heat!
If you don’t have the heat high enough, the food won’t cook quickly. The fast cooking allows the vegetables to retain their bright colors and some crunch, while proteins will have that “quick-flashed” taste. However, you don’t just have to watch the heat at the beginning. Before you add a new ingredient, you’ll need to let the wok return to its high temperature.
So, how hot should your wok be before you begin? If the wok is smoking, it’s ready. Stir-frying, when done properly, will probably smoke up your kitchen, but it’s certainly worth it in the end.
Types of Woks
There are different kinds of woks according to your needs. There are electric wok, round bottomed wok and carbon steel wok. Round bottomed wok is best use for gas stoves. You may want t buy wok support ring to allow the wok to stay on the gas burner as usual wok is not fitted to the actual gas burner it self. Carbon Steel wok is inexpensive and can be bought below $20.
How To Cook With Wok
Cooking with a Wok
Before you are ready to get your wok hot, you will want to prepare the ingredients. You can use a variety of vegetables, proteins, sauces, and aromatics. Your veggies can be the highlight of your dish or the proteins can be. It’s all up to you. Peppers, onions, corn, squash, green beans, peas all add a great splash of flavor and color. Chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, crab and other small bits of protein cook quickly and thoroughly, so be careful not to overcook the proteins too much. You will end up with a rubbery texture.
To start with, put some little oil. Sesame oil is an example of good oil for cooking with vegetables. Let it get smoking hot and put your meat and cook until almost done. If you wan to remove the meat, set it aside and allow the wok to be in high heat again to cook your vegetables. Then, if the vegetables are cooked but still crisp you may add the meat again and in a couple of minutes, your own stir-fried meal version is ready to be served.
For most stir-fried meals, it is best served with rice. That is why it is important to have your rice prepared beforehand. If you wish to add rice to your wok, it would be better to use a day old rice to avoid having a sticky stir-fried meal. Having a wok at home and knowing how to cook with your wok is like having a stir-fried meal from one of your favorite restaurants, of course with much savings as it is cheaper to eat at home than the usual fine dine restaurants. Have a rice cooker with your or a crock pot. This gadget can be used to create a perfect plate of rice and also for other dishes like stews. You may search online for other crock pot recipes for more added twist on your stir-fried meals.