How to Take Care Cooking Wok

How to Take Care Cooking Wok

A wok is the most essential item for Asian cooking and it can be used for stir-frying, deep-frying or steaming. The other essential utensil is a wok turner or charn - a spade-like scoop ideal for the continuous, fast scooping and turning required when stir-frying. You can buy both at Asian or kitchenware shops.

How to Take Care of your Cooking Wok - New woks, especially traditional rolled steel ones available from Chinese and Asian stores, are coated with a thin film of lacquer to stop them rusting while on the shelf. This has to be removed before cooking. Fill the wok with cold water and add 2 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 15 minutes. Drain, and scrub off the varnish with a scourer, repeating the process if any of the lacquer coating still remains. Rinse and dry the wok thoroughly.

Place the wok over high heat. Make a wad with a sheet of paper towel and have a small bowl of cooking oil, preferably peanut oil, ready. When the wok is hot, dip the paper in the oil and wipe it over the inner surface of the wok with long-handled tongs - they are safer than rubbing directly onto the surface of the wok with your hands. Repeat with fresh paper until it comes away clean, without any trace of color. Turn the heat to low and leave for 15 minutes so the wok can absorb the oil. Repeat this process prior to using your wok for the first time.

A properly seasoned wok or non-stick wok should not be scoured on the inside with steel wool. Try not to use detergents as they can damage the seasoning. If you do burn something, you many need to use detergent and even fine steel wool to clean your wok. If this happens, you will need to re-season your wok.

When you have finished cooking and your wok has cooled, wash it with hot water and a soft brush or cloth. Dry it thoroughly before storing in a dry area. If you have a steel wok you should wipe or brush the inside with a very thin layer of oil before storing. Long periods in a dark, warm, airless cupboard can cause the oil coating the wok to turn rancid. Wipe clean with paper towels before use.

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