Choosing a wok can be an overwhelming task. They come in a multitude of different materials, sizes, and makes. Rather than reviewing each type, I’m just going to cut to the chase. The best woks for the average household are 14″ in size (not too big or small), made of carbon steel, and hand hammered. Check that the sides are thick and strong enough that they don’t bend when you push on them. Luckily, that combination of wok is actually quite inexpensive (I got mine for $13 CAD), despite being hammered out by hand. Depending on the kind of stove you have, you may also need to get one with a slightly flattened bottom so it sits on your stove range. That said, you can get circular wok burner rings for the traditional round bottom woks. It’s also best to avoid the non-stick woks. Not only are you usually paying a lot for these pans, the non-stick surface doesn’t do well under high heat, which is one of the biggest benefits of cooking with a wok.
For a more comprehensive break down of the different types of woks, I really like the overview written on Serious Eats.
Once you have your wok, it needs to be seasoned. There are different ways to achieve the same result. This is the method I like best.
What you need:
- scouring pad or steel scrubber
- lard or a high smoking point oil
- 1/3 cup of ginger, sliced
- 2 sprigs of green onion, chopped into 2 inch Continue reading