The wok has becoming very popular as a mean of cooking healthy fast food. Preparing delicious recipes is very easy if you know the tricks.
The wok is ideal to cook with very little fat and cook fast. It heats up very fast and one cooks at high heat, so food takes little time to be ready, because of its shape, food falls naturally to the bottom, where it is the hottest.
The trick is to cut food in regular shapes of similar size –it does not matter if small cubes or stripes- so all the food cooks equally and stir continuously. Prepare all the food first, cooking with the wok is very fast; you need to have everything handy. Once done, leave the food to stand in the wok for a couple of minutes before serving.
Add very little cooking oil and always when the wok is already hot, unless you use a wok with a non-stick coating. Wait until the oil is hot before adding food. Use flavored oils, if you wish, and add a little sauce –soy, fish sauce, or anything that matches the food you cook- and you will not need to add salt.
Wash a traditional wok –iron, carbon steel- with hot water and dry very well then use a kitchen towel to rub a little cooking oil. This will prevent rusting. This kind of wok will turn brown to black with use. Don’t worry: “the darker the wok, the better the cook.”
It is versatile. You can:
- Stir-fry with stock instead of oil, or do a traditional stew
- Use the wok for traditional frying – to prepare tempura, add plenty of cooking oil, wait until hot, and fry. Because of its shape, there will be less splatter than with a traditional frying pan.
- Steam in the wok as you only need a grid where to place the food directly and a lid to keep the steam in.