The wok hasn’t quite reached “staple kitchen item” status, but if you’ve ever cooked with a wok, it’s hard to imagine why this is. Though the wok was born in China and has since spent its life making stir fries and other traditional Asian dishes, its proved to be a valuable cooking tool for many other styles besides just wok’ing.
The wok is versatile and ingeniously perfected to retain heat, cook food better, faster and make more of it. But yet, few people own a wok and those who do reserve it for Asian cooking only, not knowing it’s perfect for other types of everyday cooking. So why isn’t it used in more ways than one? We asked ourselves the very same question and in honor of our “Think Outside the Wok” menu, we’ve listed some of the ways you can use your wok for more than just wok’ing.
If you’re getting ready to prepare dinner, hold the pans; you might only need a wok tonight:
Deep Frying -Fill your wok halfway way with oil and heat to the proper temperature (you’ll need a high-temperature thermometer for this). We find 350 – 375 degrees works best. Use this to fry your favorite foods like shrimp, chicken or even spring rolls. Make sure to move the food around occasionally to get equal browning on all sides.
Steaming -Place a bamboo or stainless steel steamer in your wok and then fill halfway with water. Bring the water to a boil and place your favorite vegetables or fish in the steamer. We challenge you to create your own take on our Steamed Sea Bass from our Think Outside the Wok menu!
Smoking -Using the steamer, you can place your favorite tea or dried herbs in a foil pouch and turn the wok on to start heat and start smoking. Place your favorite fish or meat (like duck breast) in and allow to absorb the flavors of the herbs and voila!
If you’re new to the wok scene or just purchased a brand new wok, you’ll want to keep in mind it will need seasoning. If you’ve seasoned your own wok before, you’re almost ready to roll, but if you haven’t you can learn some of the basics in our Wok Cooking 101 blog!
For more tips and recipes, check out some of our other blogs at lingandlouies.com/blogs.