A picture is worth a 1000 words.
DH----42 years in the kitchen
Carbon Steel Wok --- 40 years in the kitchen
Cheng Du Chicken ---> 5 minutes !!
Here is a link that might be useful: Wok Hay !
Fantastic! The slide show is worth 5,000 words!
And your post/description of what was to come is priceless!
Teresa - currently wokless in Minnesota
Great tutorial of wok techniques. Thank you for sharing.
I don't know if you have a chance to view my techniques for stir frying which I had posted sometime ago.
I would love to hear your opinion.
Here is a link that might be useful: Do Not Stir
Wow....look at that big smoke sucking fan!
Tell wok hay he's welcome to stir in my wok any time!!
Looks like he cooks good!!
teresa : You are so funny ! Thank you for looking !
Linda: 1400 cfm and it is ALL needed :) send your address ! Thank you !! !
dcarch: I agree with everything you said in the other thread. In fact DH leaves his stuff all the time to sear/move it a bit/sear. I used to fuss at him to stir it so it doesn't burn !! And he would just ignore me and do as you say in your post. You can see in one of the pics where he has the chicken pushed up on the sides. Also you can see the vapor burning off as you mention . And he never salts ...the salt is in the liquid at the end.
A great tip that DH uses...when you have your garlic and your ginger root minced only use 1/2 of it in the initial browning...save the other 1/2 till almost the end and then put it in. Makes a huge difference in taste and the impact of the flavors is much different from the two items when added at the two different times.
We are going to get some of the brown rice oil and try it out...supposed to be all they use in China with very high heat also better for you to eat. DS1 says we need to try it. And it is true that you don't need a wok burner with extreme high BTU ...but that said there is nothing like the wok hay that DH gets when he uses the charcoal grill and sets that old wok down in those red coals :) Then you can really see and hear some intense Chinese cooking.
Thanks for linking to that discussion ! c
"----A great tip that DH uses...when you have your garlic and your ginger root minced only use 1/2 of it in the initial browning...save the other 1/2 till almost the end and then put it in. Makes a huge difference in taste and the impact of the flavors is much different from the two items when added at the two different times. ---"
In fact, that is a very important tip. The high heat from the wok converts the chemicals in garlic and ginger into tasty flavors, however, it also evaporates the aroma. By adding back some garlic and ginger later on, you get the best of both worlds.
The same tip goes for scallions and sesame oil.
Folks, get into stir frying. You will be eating less meat, more veggies, and no butter and cream.
dcarch..we will have to continue the campaign !!! I know there is a small contingent of folks on here that were interested in the past and I gave them the names of some of the best books to get. Let's see if they come out of the wood work . c
I liked watching this and am interested in learning more. Do you maintain a wok like a cast iron skillet? What is a decent wok made of? Is it possible to properly utilize one on an electric coil stove?
Yes to the maintenance. DH just puts some hot water in and swishes it around. Once in a blue moon he will use some Bar Keeper's Friend on the outside of it but never on the inside. All good woks are made of carbon steel. There was a thread the other day about this. The Wok Shop has these at a very inexpensive price.
For many many years DH didn't have gas burners. Only electric. He was able to make wonderful stir fry with them. He likes gas better but it is still doable. You do need to use the wok ring when you are doing electric although there were many times that he didn't. The best woks have a rounded bottom and until you get used to all the logistics of the wok and the cooking and taking out and putting in it is probably prudent to have the ring.
Turn your electric burner as hot as it will go and let it get red. The wok will be heating too. When you get used to the wok and moving it around you can remove and replace it over the high heat coil...this is where gas is so much easier...with the slow response of the electric you have to move the wok off the burner while it cools down a bit . As I said you will have to get used to the logistics of it.
The Breath of a Wok is a great book to use to get started.
Here is a link that might be useful: The Breath of a Wok
"---Is it possible to properly utilize one on an electric coil stove?----"
Yes, with a wok ring.
Also, I have seen electric cook tops made for the round shape of a wok. There are also induction cook tops (KUPPERSBUSCH Induction Wok Cook Top ) made for wok, but expensive.
Electric wok is also an option.
I got a couple of woks last year when I visited my sister in Las Vegas. (LV has a sizeable Asian population, and I went to a fabulous Asian grocery/restaurant supply store. Had a great time.) I didn't know what size to get, so I ended up getting an 18" wok and a 16" wok. The 18 inch one really is too big. The 16" one is good for several people, but I find for 2 or 3 people a 14" one works better. The 14" one I got has a wood handle so you can toss the stuff; the bigger ones have two metal loop handles.
These are cheap carbon steel, and they are developing a nice seasoning. When you buy your wok, see if you can get a bamboo brush for cleaning it. As someone mentioned, just throw some hot water in it and dislodge any food in it, then dry and lightly oil like a cast iron skillet. Generally no need for soap to clean it.
You can get flat bottom woks for electric stoves. Electric woks are convenient, but I find they don't get hot enough. With a nice gas burner you can get some really high frying temperatures.
I find that grapeseed oil works pretty well for stir fry: neutral in flavor and high smoke point.
That book, The Breath of a Wok, is beautiful.
Good stuff, thanks for the detailed info(s)!!
Trailrunner, I was cracking up really hard at the "Wok Store" part. The chances of finding something like that around here are miniscule. But I see that you're in AL also. You must be referring to an online store...?
So, woks are steel, shiny silver when new, and they get black from the high heat? I LOVE the idea of a not-too-heavy-for-my-hands cooking thing that doesn't need to be "washed."
OP..., I have driven through there but never stopped. We have a good Oriental grocery in our town...we are Auburn/Opelika area. I guess being a University town with all Asian students helps :) We got our wok by default. It was a wedding present for my DH's sister and her DH. We were admiring it and she said ..take it we will never use it. We grabbed it and ran. Her DH is a fantastic cook now and would give anything to have it back..ha..not gonna happen.
Yes your wok will get the proper patina from use. It doesn't take long. Expensive and wok are not two terms that go together...so get online and buy one and start cooking !
Other than grapeseed oil if you really want to be authentic you would use brown rice oil. Our nephew and his Chinese wife live in Tsingtao and that is what they said they buy. c
Come on!You guys are making way too big a deal about wok cooking.
trailrunner, are you trying to scare off people from using the wok?
It is so easy. Start cooking already. A couple of stir fies later you will be cooking like this guy.
Here is a link that might be useful: Wokking 9 to 5 :-)
I made a stir fry for dinner in honor of your post. But with my tiny flat bottomed wok, well it was OK but not as much fun! But right now is not the time for me to be investing in new kitchen utensils. I still have fun and I've seen photos of folks stir frying on flat bottomed pans, albeit they took each ingredent out after stir frying instrad of shifting them to the sides like you would on a big wok. I just use vegetables that are pretty much alike, and then just live with the difference in doneness. Doesn't bother me.
But stir fry sauces, that I have to work on. The one I did last night was just OK. I was trying to remember the recipe I found online for Chen Du Chicken. I left out the rice wine vinegar and sesame oil. I could really use a tutorial in stir fry sauces. I can never wing one I like. Last night was just OK, I needed to probably double the recipe. I used a small amount of black bean paste (I just can't do a lot of that, too hot), molasses, ginger paste, garlic, crushed corriander seed and soy sauce. I didn't have enough so I added some bottled stuff.
lpink: here is what DH uses for a basic great sauce...have fun and vary the amounts till you get the taste you are looking for.
chicken wonderfulness ( aka stock), water, soy sauce , catsup ( yep...it really makes a wonderful tang to the sauce), sesame oil, fresh ginger grated into the cup of liquid 1/2 tsp) , and a small amount of cornstarch and water to thicken. add a splash of black vinegar just before you take the dish out of the pot That is it...believe it or not you can use this with most things and it is a wonderful basic sauce.
hmmm,dcarch...not sure what you are referring to. I said basically what you did...get a wok and cook. Told the story of how we got a wok...named a couple oils......get a book if you want just as a guide. c
trailrunner, I was just joking, having a little fun with that crazy wok guy in that video. :-)
I hope it didn't come out the wrong way.
ah..so! hadn't looked at the video!!! dh says he is going to get right on it LOL !!!