Posted by: b44hanson | March 2, 2009

Wok 101

My buddy Mark is considering stepping into the world of Wok and asked me for some thoughts on the subject. Mark mentioned he was interested in doing stir fried rice, so I shared with him some of my experience in stir fry. – Bill

One line I always remember from the Frugal Gourmet (before I found out the real reason he liked to have Boy Scouts on his show) was, “Hot Wok, Cold Oil, food won’t stick!”
I will tell you, no matter what, fried rice will stick and I can’t say I ever was really good at fried rice. I have made it a handful of times and it was ok, but never as good as I could
get in a restaurant.
A couple things for you to consider regarding your Wok selection. I used to have a regular metal wok and used it forever. I then got a Calphalon non stick wok and liked it as well, however in general, I am leaning against non stick coatings as you have to be too gentle with them. What I liked about my old wok is that I could abuse it and then get a SOS pad out and bring it right back. In the non-stick world, you can only use wood or plastic
utensils and no matter how hard you try, it still gets dinged up.
Go get yourself a couple of Wok cookbooks. It is how I got started. Basically the concept for most stir fries is high heat, quick stirring-constantly fry and don’t overcook your veggies. It wasn’t until I got a Wok that I figured out all veggies don’t have to be cooked
to mush.
One thing I have been doing lately since I don’t get home until 7:00 is buying in the frozen section, packages of Stir Fried veggies. Not as yummy as fresh, but a suitable substitute when you don’t have the time.
And above all, be willing to experiment.

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