wok
©iStockphoto.com/Joshua Holder
Woks are great tools for Asian cuisine.

Although the regional cuisines of China and other Asian countries vary in flavors and ingredients, the unifying link between them is the wok as the primary cooking vessel.

The wok evolved centuries ago as a result of fuel shortages. Its rounded shape and long sloping sides provide an extended cooking surface, which may be heated to very high temperatures with little fuel.

The wok is most commonly associated with the technique of stir-frying, but can be used to deep-fry, braise, roast, steam, and simmer.