Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What is a wok good for?

I just obtained a box of random kitchen items via Freecycle. Mainly I got it for the pizza stone - yay, I now have 2! But there are some other interesting items to try (as well as some that will be re-Freecycled or thrifted). Among them, a wok. I've never used a wok, but I've heard they're nice for stir-fry and such. Please share the virtues of a wok and suggestions on how to use it :-).

10 comments:

Jessica said...

Ooooh, a wok! (And two pizza stones...very nice! :)) I love using woks...I've only really used my parents' non-stick one and I am a very NON non-stick person, but I still used it a lot when I cooked while living in their house. The one I put on my wedding registry is cast-iron and even though I've never used a cast-iron wok before, it sounds amazing...but anyway, I'm kind of getting off topic. You wanted to know what woks are good for...not my recent wok history! :P

Yes, woks are excellent for stir-fry in that they cook pretty much like a frying pan, but there's a lot of room in there so you can get some good sauteing going. Because of that, I use it for most anything that I'm sauteing that I'm doing a lot of...I find it much easier to contain it all in a wok than in a frying pan. I love using woks for fried rice as well...especially since I generally make a lot at one time. So, in short...woks are great...I think you'll love yours as long as you can get past the mind-set of "this can only be used for stir-fry"...and I think you will! :) Enjoy!

Susan said...

Ooh, fried rice? Enlighten me! How do you make that? And of course I want to know your recent wok history :-). How fun.

Samara said...

Yes, a wok is fun. I also love fried rice- the best thing for leftover rice other than casseroles. Basically it's really easy to push things around in a wok because of the high sides and round bottom, so for any dish where you need to saute and move things around, it's great.

Freecycle! I'm such a fan.

ashley @ twentysixcats said...

I love fried rice! I always thought it was a Peruvian meal until we moved to the States and I found it at Chinese restaurants. :-)

I have no wok experience, so I am unhelpful in that arena. I pretty much avoid All Things Fried which is a good and bad thing.

Jessica said...

Yes, I would love to enlighten you as to the mysteries of fried rice-making. My "recipe" is very general, but I think you can probably handle that. :)

I like to use basmati rice for fried rice, but I'm sure any white or maybe brown rice would work. So...cook up a couple cups or so or use whatever leftover rice you have. Heat up your wok on high heat and saute a lot of chopped onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil (more than you would normally use to saute onion and garlic). When the onions and garlic start to brown, crack several eggs into the mixture and kind of "scramble" into the onions and garlic. When egg starts to brown, add your rice (you might want to break it up a little in the pan before adding to the wok so you don't have big rice clumps to deal with). Add more oil if needed, along with some sugar and lots of good soy sauce. I'm picky about my soy sauce and love Yamasa brand, but you can use whatever you want. Mix it all together, breaking up clumps as you go along. And then, let it "fry". It should be sizzling from the high heat, so let it cook a couple minutes without stirring, then move the rice from the bottom (which should have a nice brownish carmelised colour) to the top...and continue process until desired fried-ness is reached. :) And that's it! Let me know if you need any clarification on anything...my "recipes" are sometimes hard to follow! :P Enjoy...and let me know how it turns out!

mdlife said...

I was just in Thailand not too long ago, and as far as i know, the Thai's use woks quite a bit to fried rice and stuff. It would probably be fun to look up Thai recipes and see what suggestions they have! God bless!

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