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33

Your scallops are (beautifully) seared on the outside because they are cooked all the way through in a very hot pan. The scallops in the Chinese stir fries stay pale because most of their cooking is done at low heat. They are likely cooked twice: first they are velveted (meaning marinated and oil-blanched) and then very quickly stir fried to reheat. In more ...


30

The scallops in the first two photos were left on the pan, with no movement, to sear on one side before flipping. To achieve that caramelization takes a couple of minutes before turning. In fact, at that point, the scallop is mostly cooked. In the second two photos, the scallop is likely stir-fried in a wok; that is, it is in constant motion over high ...


12

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 ...


11

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 go ...


9

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 ...


9

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 ...


8

I would say the opposite and you have actually burned "off" the coating. When those woks come off the factory floor, they are dipped or sprayed with that anti-rust sealant you are talking about. Most if not all instructions want you to get rid of this coating before use. When using carbon steel/cast iron cookware, one must season the metal first. Here ...


6

I admit that I've spent too much time in Panda Express... but you can see their kitchens from the line and how they batch their food - often switching from a main dish to fried rice (with egg) and back to a stir fry and the solution they use is to quickly rinse out the wok with warm water and scrub it lightly with a brush before dumping it and reheating the ...


6

To best check temperature, you need a thermometer, and if you can, use a non-contact thermometer (infrared thermometer). Teflon start degrading at around 260 °C (500 °F). So check the pan temperature, adjust the heat of your range (electric, gas...) so that the temperature stay below that. If you want to use high temperature for some applications, then ...


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 ...


5

Stainless steel woks burn and stick very easily and are expensive and can't really be seasoned however they last forever. They are only used for foods that would attack a normal carbon steel wok and give the food a metallic taste, e.g. acidic foods. Carbon steel woks are used by Chinese chefs and after proper seasoning they are like non stick but able to ...


5

You are seeing oil polymerisation, otherwise known as seasoning. It is not required on stainless steel, but it can happen on its own under some conditions (a very thin layer of oil, or only a spray of oil mist, on a very hot pan surface) and wokking produces these conditions at least on parts of the surface. It is your choice whether to keep it or clean it....


5

The way it is flaking off (flakes sticking out instead of breaking off) suggests it is an old-school (non reinforced) teflon coating, not an enamel. If the underlying metal is actually stainless (not likely to be carbon, would not look bright after that abuse) steel, you could make it usable, but it is unlikely to be worth the effort - the remaining coating ...


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 ...


4

It can take years to build up a strong patina, and to smooth off your tools so they don't dig in Relax, just wash it with a plastic scourer (3M green type), oil it and heat it up on your burner (tilt the wok to reach the high sides) The damage seems mainly in the 'off' zone, so it shouldn't effect your cooking process too much The main issue is that most ...


4

I had a very similar coating on the wok I bought recently. The person I bought it from explained that the coating had to be burnt off, and not scrubbed off. I put the wok on a high flame and made sure to flame the entire surface of the wok, including the sides. The coating smokes and burns, but once it is off you will find yourself with a good carbon steel ...


4

Hi Leigh Anne and welcome to Seasoned Advice! First let me say that you will probably get a few different answers as many of us have different ways of handling such issues. Since you had what sounded like a pretty good amount of rust to start with, I would recommend a thorough cleaning with steel wool to ensure that you have removed all of the rust. Be sure ...


4

A wok is designed to put food in heat at the center and relax some of the heat as you move away from center, and you keeping the food moving in and out of that hot spot so you get an even sear all around. To mimic this, use a wide 12 inch or larger skillet (depending on your quantity of food) with high walls, and make it hot. Continuously flip the food ...


4

Yes, you can restore it. Clean the whole wok. Wash with soap and dry it. Apply a small coat of oil and put it on high. Let it burn (ventilate the kitchen). Repeat the process of applying a small coat of oil and putting it on high another two or three times. Done. Edit: As noted by @GdD, this method cannot be applied to non-stick woks.


4

You have used too much oil, or you haven't wiped enough off before heating the pan, the end result is the same. The best thing to do would be to remove the oil and try again, making sure that you have wiped the wok properly. Also, 1) make sure the wok is a bit warm before wiping it with oil (At least if it is cast iron) as this helps it absorb the oil ...


4

Partial answer to the new formulation: how do I make sure the oil goes into the food, not into the fan? You don't. The oil is not supposed to go into the food that's being fried, it should be fried at the temperature where it does not soak through, else it becomes quite unappetizing. It is normal that you get a lot of oily vapor when frying, especially ...


4

It sounds to me like you are using too much heat to allow the seasoning process to work, instead the oil is burning off before it can polymerize and form the seasoning layer. The bits that are already seasoned probably don't need to be re-seasoned; you can add seasoning to the areas where it is not seasoned. You may want to do multiple layers to ensure that ...


3

My parents used a wok way back when to make spring rolls, but it depends on what you're using it for. A cast iron skillet will work for a lot of things, but you don't really get a deep-fry from it. It is great for quickly frying up chicken parts to finish in the oven or frying up cutlets/katsu/schnitzel. A deep sauce pan or dutch oven works well if you ...


3

It doesn't appear like a no-stick wok so its a carbon steel one. I'm concerned about the blackish colour. Normally woks don't come that black. Nevertheless, I would take an SOS pad and scrub it well but not too hard. See if some of the black comes off, if some comes off ok. If it doesn't come off with a good scrub then its on there for good. From your ...


3

most likely your tool is cutting into the patina, causing it to break up and separate, so your sauces can penetrate between the patina and the metal. Use wooden or plastic tools instead, without sharp edges.


3

Mine was having the same problem; I suspect I didn't get the factory coating off well enough. I ended up having to go through a lot of work to strip the seasoning. I tried alternating between steel wool, and a plastic scrub pad, soap, barkeeper's friend, boiling water in it with baking soda in the water, and even wiped it down with acetone. After that I ...


3

http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/06/equipment-how-to-buy-a-wok-which-wok-is-the-best.html Read this. Great advice. Woks CAN work great on an electric range. But you have to buy carbon steel, not non-stick. Don't listen to the nay sayers. It works great. Try it!!


3

The trick is in the flame/temperature graduation and also in consideration of the type of oil you are using. As well as the item you are attempting to fry. In my and family experience, we have found that peanut/groundnut oil has the highest breakdown temperature. Let's say you are frying an 8 inch mackerel. Underneath the work, obviously, is the gas burner ...


3

A chef i used to work with said a pan isnt hot enough until the oil is smoking this is doubly so for wokking (a word i am inventing right now...) grapeseed oil has one of the highest smoke points in the oil world (425F) ... so if that is smoking then perhaps you are using too large a ring and heating the sides of the wok more than the middle


3

All wok rings are not created equal; quality ones are made of cast iron. Try to find one made specifically for your gas range: They are designed to lock onto the grate and function as an extension of the grate. A ring that is designed for your range makes cooking in a wok an absolute joy as the wok is steady and balanced and heats evenly without fear of ...


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