Do you wok? I don’t mean walking with a lisp, I mean cooking with that funny, concave-shaped device ever-so-popular with the Chinese and other Asians. Most of us are familiar with using woks for stir-frying, but they can be used for all sorts of other cooking methods as well. In fact, the wok is an incredibly handy tool and if you haven’t cooked with one yet, maybe it’s time to think about giving it a go. Not convinced? Here’s three answers to the question, “Why Wok?”
1. The Wok is versatile
While frying may be the most common use for the wok. It’s also terrific for the following cooking methods:
- It’s a boiler: You can boil soup, water or rice in a wok.
- It’s a braiser: This is especially useful when you’re making a dish with a reduced sauce.
- It’s a deep fryer: The thing to keep in mind with deep frying in a wok is the splash factor. Boiling oil is never a nice experience on skin or clothes so most deep frying should be done in a large wok.
- It’s a smoker: Believe it or not, you can also use a wok as a smoker. You simply put your smoking material at the bottom of the pan and your food on a rack above it.
- It’s a Steamer: You’ll need steaming baskets for this. Just boil water in the pan with steam baskets inside.
- It’s a stewer: Woks aren’t usually used for stewing because longer stew times work better in porcelain or stoneware. But in a pinch – and especially with shorter stewing times, a wok will do.
2. The Wok is shapely
More than just a pretty figure though, the shape of the wok is what makes it so darn useful. It’s concave structure makes a small, intensely heated area at the very bottom of the pan. This allows only some of the food to get seared from the heat while using just small amount of fuel. But there’s more! The sloped sides make it easier for you to use the tossing method with far less spilling and a bigger margin of safety.
3. The Wok meets the modern day
You don’t need a traditional Chinese pit stove to use a wok anymore. Today you can buy and use a wok over a gas or electric stove. Simply get yourself a wok ring to sit your wok above your burner and get to cooking!
What possibilities do you see for using a wok in your kitchen? leave me a comment and let me know.