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14

For pan frying you probably want to start with a firm tofu. It's a good idea to press the tofu to remove excess water: wrap the tofu in a cloth and place it between two cutting boards, weighting the top cutting board with a heavy book or other similar object. Wait at least twenty minutes (you can prepare the rest of the vegetables/onions for the stir fry at ...


14

Most good woks I see today are carbon steel. Those things can take a ton of punishment and are very difficult to damage. In fact, a wok chuan, which is a "scoop" that's a bit like a metal spatula, is not only OK to use, it's an essential part of Asian cooking. Wooden utensils just don't have the right shape or, well, weight, for proper stir-frying. If ...


14

Make sure to seriously wash the wok before initial use. Scrub it with hot soapy water and dry thoroughly. After drying, place the wok over the stove on high heat until it starts to smoke. Rotate the pan so that all parts of the inside are exposed to high heat. Then rub the wok with oil on a paper towel. After this, try not to scrub the wok. A rinse and ...


12

I have friends from Hong Kong who always use steel woks in their take-away. A cast-iron wok would require a different technique for stir frying. It would be slower to heat up and retain heat when you didn't want the food to continue cooking. Stick with the one you have ...


11

I always go in this order: Garlic/ginger/chili/spring onion whites This is to infuse the cooking oil with these flavours. Cook for short amount of time ~30secs. onions/peppers/carrots/harder veg These need a little more cooking that the other bits, so I give them a bit longer. mushrooms/sugar snaps/soft veg These need less cooking, so bit less ...


10

Um ... just off the top of my head, important things when cooking with a wok: Make sure all of your items to cook are ready before the first thing goes to the heat; it's quick cooking, and you don't want to be trying to chop something while you're trying to stir things at the same time. You want to cook over high heat. The oil should be just about to ...


10

There are a couple of reasons, traditional and some functional: The home cultures where these recipes are indigenous use a wok, so many recipe authors go the same way Woks are usually made out of carbon steel, and are poor conductors of heat. This means that the strongest heat from the concentrated heat source is in the center/bottom of the wok. As you ...


9

Check the bottom of the pan; often useful information is stamped there. Like the brand, sometimes even model number. Assuming nothing useful: Steel and iron are ferromagnetic. That is to say, a magnet will stick to them. Both are unlikely to be Teflon-coated (edit: though Wikipedia informs me they exist). The black (which is hopefully somewhat shiny) is ...


8

All the advice above is good, but let me add one more thing to consider: if you don't have a wok burner with the power of a fighter jet, you might want to not cook everything together at all. It often is best to cook one or two ingredients at a time, in a thin layer over the highest possible heat, until they are 20 seconds short of done, and then remove them ...


8

Having pan-fried about a zillion pounds of tofu in my life, I can help you out here. Kevin is on the right track with getting the water out, but you don't need to get it out of the whole thickness of the bean curd, just the surface, so that it will brown and get crisp. Here's how I do it, works every time: (1) Cut the tofu into the desired shape - cubes, ...


7

A general rule is put harder ingredients in first as they tend to require more cooking. Things you can eat raw can go in very late as the crispness can add to the meal. So from your list, something like this: Onion For a little while Jalapenos (if not pickled) Mushroom Bell peppers Sugar-snaps bean-sprouts It mostly comes down to personal preference. ...


7

You should get a carbon steel wok with two short handles (not one long handle). You want the steel to build up a patina of oxidized oils, which rules out stainless steel and aluminum and non-stick. You could conceivably get a cast-iron wok, but those are really heavy. You want the two small handles so you can pick up the wok, but you don't want long ...


7

I don't think that you'll get the results that you expect. My experience includes an MSR Whisperlite International backpacking stove (white gas), and Coleman two-burner stoves in both white gas and propane variants. Anecdotally, the backpacking stove has limited control, while the two-burner stoves don't quite have the oomph of a real gas stove. The ...


7

You have overcooked the seasoning. I have done this once or twice too. Especially smooth surfaces (e.g. carbon steel) are very prone to this problem, unlike rough cast iron. What you want is not a dark layer. The layer will darken with time and start looking like usual. But on a freshly seasoned metal utensil, the layer should be yellow-brownish. The stove ...


7

My guess is carbon steel. It's used in a variety of cooking implements, including stuff like woks and as bread pans. A quick search suggests that carbon steel is often magnetic as you report. If it is indeed carbon steel, it benefits from seasoning and ongoing love and care similar to cast iron (lest it rust or deteriorate). Many articles on this, such as ...


6

You want to use an oil that will handle the hotter temperatures of a wok. This list of oil smoke points suggests that most refined oils will work fine. Don't use unrefined oils or butter because they'll burn. Once you've got an oil that will handle the heat, you want something that will taste good. I think that's the main issue with olive oil. There aren't ...


6

Frying in a wok doesn't necessarily imply a single particular oil for all foods you cook. It may vary up to the ingredients, the technique (yes, there is more than one wok technique), the recipe, personal preferences, price etc. As a general rule, as you've mentioned in your question, wok techniques require relatively high temperatures so oils with ...


6

I think you will find smoking inherent in the wok construction. Every bit of oil that spatters up the sides from deep-frying will smoke. You may reduce smoking-sides somewhat by using the smallest burner possible but not entirely eliminate it. Many Chinese restaurant kitchens (many Indian too) have small 6 - 8" openings above furnace like flames that the ...


5

Impossible is a strong word, but yes its near enough impossible as there is insufficient surface area touching to transfer the heat through, and hot plates do not have good heat .. not sure of the word, but they don't transfer heat well to things which are not touching them. You can get flat bottomed woks which are more suited to this set up, but even ...


5

The general rule is to put in aromatics first--stuff that contributes good smells. Traditionally that includes garlic, onions, dried spices, and celery. In oil,of course. Then the hard to soft rule applies. The general idea is to have all of the food 'ready' at the same time, despite differences in cooking time. So you give the harder items, i.e. ...


5

As long as it doesn't have a nonstick coating, I think you'll be fine. The Wok Shop in San Francisco, my source for a lot of wok wisdom, routinely sells metal turners with their woks, which I use much of the time. Their turners are, however, constructed with a bit of a curve to them, to make them easier to work with. That probably cuts down on the wok ...


5

I find it amusing that your range warns you the cooking ring will work as intended. It's supposed to be heat trap, and focus heat on the bottom of the wok. That said, they are also correct that it may discolor the burner grate. I can't really say what your grates are made from, and many cooking materials discolor at high temperatures. I think the main ...


5

There isn't so much difference between both materials to warrant the purchase of a new wok. While the different parameters can be measured, any noticeable difference will probably stem from production quality or seasoning quality. They are just too similar in specific heat per cubic centimeter (how much you can heat the pan) to expect an improvement. Iron ...


5

I don't think those are "cracked ridges"; I think you have a hammered wok. The appearance is an artifact of how they are manufacted, by hammering a steel blank into a form or mold. It probably is a carbon steel wok, as that is the most common material used for the hammering method as far as I know. According to this article at The Kitchn, you should ...


4

if you find you have things stuck to the inside of the wok that you might be tempted to try and scrub off, you can instead flip the wok upside down over the flame and allow the deposits to be burnt off. Once they have been burnt for a while the ash should come off easily with a wipe (don't forget to let the wok cool first!) and this helps avoid the ...


4

There is absolutely a better way than just adding everything together. But it depends, in part, upon your tastes. I like my mushrooms very well done, so I will toss the mushrooms and onions in together first. Sugar snaps, bell peppers and bean sprouts I like nice and crisp, so I'll toss them in last just to heat them up. For just a minute or so. The ...


4

Wok hai (or hay) is literally "the breath of the wok". It is used to describe a stirfry that is cooked over high heat with no ingredient being over-cooked. It is devolped by cooking over a lot of BTU's and paying close attention to your timing and ingredients in the pan and geting your food into somebody's mouth before it has a chance to cool.


4

You need an oil with a high smoke point, because the wok will be on high heat. The most commonly-used is probably peanut oil. Grape seed oil, canola oil, corn oil, and also sunflower oil are also common. Olive oil is actually fine to use too, just not the "virgin" types which have significantly lower smoke points. But I still wouldn't use it because it ...


4

There are two problems here: Not enough heat reaching the wok/food due to limited contact surface. Part of the heating element not being in contact with a cooling metal (pan/wok) and the heat reflected back at it (not escaping). This can result in a large temperature difference between the parts of the element that are in contact with the wok and parts ...



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