Cooking with a Wok
There are a few common guidelines for all types of wok cooking that should be kept in mind.
- Preparation and cooking are two separate procedures. Carefully read the entire recipe before beginning. All ingredients should be prepared before cooking.
Prepare all ingredients before cooking.
- Attention to the cooking process is crucial because most foods are cooked over intense heat in a matter of minutes. The intensity of the heat used for wok cooking is important. In most cases, easily controlled high heat is needed. For this reason, a gas range with its instant heat control is generally more efficient than an electric range or electric wok.
- The kind of oil used is also crucial. A vegetable oil that may be heated to a high temperature without smoking is essential. Peanut oil, corn oil, and soybean oil all work well. Other kinds of fats, such as olive oil, sesame oil, or butter should not be used because they burn easily.
- Due to the variables, such as kinds of foods, type of heat, and the kind of cooking equipment used, cooking times given in recipes should be used as guidelines -- not as absolutes.
- Special wok accessories aren't necessary for success, but they can make wok cooking easier. If you will be doing a great deal of wok cooking, you might want to stock your kitchen with some custom utensils.
Clockwise from top left: bamboo steamer,
wok, deep-fry thermometer, wire steamer
rack, chopsticks, bamboo brush,
and Chinese spatula.