A wok is a dome-shaped pan usually used for cooking Chinese cuisine and stir-frying. It also requires less oil and spreads the heat evenly like a frying pan. This means the meat and vegetable flavor seasons the food to make it savory. You can also use woks for steaming, smoking, and deep-frying. If you’re wondering how to cook with a wok pan, this article is for you. I also included some tips on how to season a wok to make your foods tastier.
How To Cook With A Wok Pan
It takes time and continuous practice to learn how to cook with a wok pan.
Here are some tips you can follow.
- Preheat the wok
Before adding oil into the work, drizzle some water, and when it evaporates, then the work is hot enough. Pour in some oil onto the side of hot work, so you can swirl it into the surface.
- Stir in the herbs, spices, and other aromatics.
They are spicy and infuses the oil. It also spreads the flavor all over the surface and other ingredients.
- Add the meat
Keep the aromatics aside and dump the protein such as seafood, poultry, and meat products. Let the meat sear in and creates a bit of moisture. Stir-fry until almost cooked, then transfer the meat and the aromatics to a plate.
- Add the vegetables into the wok.
Pour in the vegetables from the longest to shortest cooking time, such as broccoli, carrots, and potatoes. Follow the zucchinis, mushrooms, and peppers, then soft leafy greens and tomatoes.
- Stir-fry action
Constantly stir the ingredients using a spatula across the food and the wok. Let the ingredients mix well, so the ingredients can absorb the savor of the herbs and meat.
- Add the liquid ingredients.
Swirl the broth, soy sauce, or wine to deglaze the pan and add a kick flavor to the food. It will help intensify the flavor of the aromatics and meat.
Slice your veggies, meat, and marinate any raw depending on your preference. If you are cooking several dishes, have all the ingredients ready before prepping the meals. Heat the oil until you see a bit of smoke coming out from the pan. Do not worried if the ingredients look a bit oil or overcooked, it is the savory coating of the ingredients only. You will know when they are tender and crunchy when the protein appears lighter.
Benefits Of Using A Wok Pan
Unlike a frying pan, wok distributes the heat more evenly around the raw meat and veggies. The dome-shaped surface of the work with sloping sides allows the ingredients to be seared and charred to make a flavorful dish. You will get even spots with improved heat distribution, making sure the wok’s ingredient is cooked simultaneously. Tossing food or stir-frying is much easier due to the wok’s shape and helps the ingredients to sip in the aroma around the wok’s seasoning.
A wok also provides different uses compared to a traditional frying pan due to its bowl shape surface. You can fill it with water for boiling foods or oil for deep frying due to its deep center. You can also use it as a cheese and meat smoker when teamed up with a wooden rack.
Different Ingredients You Need For Wok Cooking
Spices and aromatics are the basis of your dish’s flavor; you may want to pour them in first. You may add the garlic, onions, herbs, and other flavorings that the recipe calls for once the wok and oil are heated. For a more flavorful dish, aromatics allow the savory to blend in with the oil.
Add any meat, fish, seafood, or poultry products that go into the dish before turning to get a nice char on one side. Cook them around 75% complete, and then transfer all the wok’s contents to a plate before putting it back later.
You can add the vegetable according to its sizes, from the longest to the shortest cooking time. Crop vegetables such as potatoes and carrots go in first, then soft leafy ones such as tomatoes and baby corns go next. The reason for this is soft the veggies have the least amount of time required to cook it.
How Do You Season A Wok
Other than knowing how to cook with a wok pan, seasoning plays a major role in the food’s taste and texture. A well-seasoned wok increases its nonstick surface, and the more use it. To preserve the seasoning or nonstick outer layer, keep the wok’s surface dry and oiled lightly. After cooking, wash the wok immediately and let it dry alone. Drizzle some oil around the wok’s surface and rub the oil using a paper towel or dishcloth over the outer layer.
A wok made of carbon steel will transform from glossy silver to light brown to a perfect matte black color after using it. A dark surface is a sign of a wok that has been well seasoned.
Different Types of Oil For Wok Cooking
You must use cooking oil with a high smoke point when selecting one for your wok pan. It is essential to use the right oil as it affects the result and changes the approach on how to cook with a wok pan. These oils need a high heat temperature of at least 400 degrees Fahrenheit before generating a smoke. You risk burning the oil and staining the food’s taste if an oil has a low smoking point. Below are the common cooking oils that are good for seasoning your wok.
- Almond Oil
- Soybean Oil
- Grapeseed Oil
- Peanut Oil
- Vegetable or Canola Oil
Because woks cook foods hot and fast, you need a type of oil that gets hotter over high heat immediately. Here’s how to learn more about wok pans.
The wok’s dome-shaped surface allows cooking to be fast with minimal heat contact. This is why cooking with a wok requires ingredients to be chopped into small slices. Hopefully, this article helps you get started using the wok pan efficiently now that you’ve learned how to cook with a wok pan properly.