Chinese Food

Chinese Stir Fry – The Wok And Tips

Chinese Stir Frying Wok |

I get a lot of information about the Chinese stir-fry wok, and this is the perfect opportunity to present some basic theories and tips for successful Chinese stir-frying. In this post, I’ll give you a basic introduction to the Chinese theory of baking, whether you need a wok, how to season a wok, and daily maintenance. The product and article are sponsored by MammaFong, a fantastic brand of kitchen tools, but I’m giving my real opinion.

Understanding Chinese Toasted Bread: 炒

Understanding the theory of Chinese frying is one of the most important steps to using the wok properly. If you ask a Chinese chef what the most important skill is, the answer may contain two lines. The first mastered the cut and the second mastered the fire. Compared to other cooking methods such as braising, boiling and roasting, stir-frying is a more recent invention that goes hand in hand with the development of iron making. However, it quickly became popular and became the most widely used cooking method in everyday Chinese cuisine. The Chinese character 炒 highlights a very pleasant and interesting fact about the Chinese roasting method. The left side – 火 means fire, and the right side – 少 means a small amount (could be the amount of oil or maybe the amount of ingredients at a time). Basically, stir-frying is the process of cooking meat or vegetables with less oil (compared to frying 炸) and fewer ingredients at a time, with proper control of the heat until the dish is done. Oil is the main means of heat transfer that can bring higher temperatures (over 200 degrees) and further reduce cooking time. Shorter cooking times can preserve the crisp, soft texture and beautiful color, especially of vegetables. In addition, the high temperature promotes the chemical reaction of spices, such as. B. Soy sauce, and thus brings more flavor. Because baking requires the ingredients to be cooked very quickly, a small regular cut is the basis. That’s why the Chinese do so much roasting, highlighting and twisting.

Qualified wok pan

In addition to personal knife handling and fire fighting skills, the wok, a wok-like instrument, plays an extremely important role. When a Chinese cook prepares a dish for frying, the stove always provides a very strong and continuous fire. The cook puts the wok on the stove and the wok gets hot very quickly. When he takes the pan off the heat, when he reaches the spices and ingredients, the heating always stops immediately.  This is the best demonstration of firefighting. In the home kitchen, heat often needs to be controlled for baking. The Chinese fryer requires accurate and rapid fire control, i.e. rapid heat transfer to achieve a high ambient temperature and a sensitive reaction to the fire powder. So there are certain rules for real Chinese stir fry.

  1. Light and thin, it can be held and used with one hand. The thickness also affects the heat transfer.
  2. Excellent thermal conductivity, reaches a high temperature in a very short time.
  3. Low heat storage capacity, sensitivity to gunpowder and immediate shutdown of the stove when the fire bowl with the kindling is removed. Cast iron has a very high heat storage capacity and is therefore more suitable for starters and stews.

With this wok, the frying process can be completed in a very short time without overheating the ingredients due to the interval between adding the seasonings. In Chinese cuisine it is called 火候 (meaning appropriate heating).

Do you need a wok or not

1. Although the wok looks pretty cool in the hands of the boss, it is not suitable for beginners.  Poorly maintained woks rust very quickly and are a health hazard. So you should have some basic experience with Chinese cooking and know how to use a frying pan.
2. The wok usually produces a stronger greasy black light, so a powerful kitchen fan is needed. And a relatively closed roasting area can help prevent smoke from settling on the surface of another part of the kitchen.
3. The wok needs a big fire, this is the most important condition. Make sure your stove has a fire output of more than 4.5 kW. Otherwise, the temperature will drop very quickly after adding the ingredients, turning the stir-fry into a kind of stew.
4. The wok is the ideal tool for Chinese stir-fry dishes with the most authentic flavor, and it is not the best option for other cooking methods, so if you are not aiming for the authentic flavor of stir-fry dishes, a wok is not necessary. If you’ve decided to work with a wok, here are some tips on choosing one

  1. Choose a light and thin product. The weight is extremely high, even if you don’t use the Chinese throwing technique. This also has implications for heat transfer.
  2. Choose a nice shape. A well-shaped wok has a nice duck bottom, which can provide firm support for the rapid movement of ingredients.
  3. Choose a carbon steel wok (I have 3 woks, all carbon steel). It heats up faster than cast iron and stainless steel. And most important of all: the light.

There is a recommended product from Mammafong. A classic Chinese wok manufacturer who wants to bring us traditional Chinese wok stirrers so customers can create an authentic and traditional Chinese taste. Their high quality and durable carbon steel wok has excellent performance in terms of weight and shape.

How to season a wok

Use sandpaper to polish edges and rough spots.

Rinse off the layer of dirt with a petrol-based cleaner. And completely clean with water and drain completely. Make sure it dries completely or it will cause water stains.

Place the wok on the fire and start the heating. The wok first turns red, then mysteriously blue (a combined color of iron oxide). It’s not bad for your health, but it can protect the wok from rust. Then wait until the wok has cooled down and wash it again with detergent and a soft cloth or sponge. Allow the water to drain away completely.

Prepare the pork and 3 slices of a larger piece of ginger. Or you can use another animal fat.  Heat the wok over low heat and rub each part of the wok with pork rind.

Then rinse the wok with hot water. Drain with a cloth, and the stir-fry seasoning is ready.

This beautiful blue coating insulates the wok from the air and also prevents rust. It also isolates the ingredients from the iron, preventing the taste and color of the ingredients from changing.

How to apply daily care

  1. Extra care is needed for the newborn’s wok. At the beginning of use, I recommend using a frying wok once. Making an egg roll or fried sesame balls seems perfectly acceptable.  Or at least start with neutral tools that contain less starch, avoid cooking with very acidic or alkaline foods. After 20 to 30 uses, the wok will turn completely black, you can then use it as a good capacity wok.
  2. Heat the wok before each use. According to the Leidenfrost effect, in which a liquid forms a vapor insulating layer at a surface that is significantly hotter than the liquid’s boiling point, preventing the liquid from boiling rapidly. This repulsive force causes the droplet to float above the surface instead of physically touching the hot surface. Heating the wok is a crucial step in preventing the ingredients from sticking to the bottom and forming a natural seasoning layer on the surface of the wok.
  3. The wok will fill with each use. Therefore, do not use steel wool to break down the natural layer.  After each use, remove the residue from the wok with hot water and dry with a soft cloth. If you think the wok is too dirty or greasy, use a mild cleaner to remove the oil and dry the wok completely.
  4. If the wok has rusted due to lack of maintenance, use steel wool to remove the rust layer on top and repeat the seasonal process.

If you use a real Chinese wok, you need to pay more attention to the daily maintenance, wear a stronger lamp, adjust the fire often during cooking, but once the cooperation is successful, there are better flavors of Chinese wok cookware, a longer cooperation time, because a well-maintained wok can be used for many years and a much healthier and quieter surface. Enjoy your time at the wok.

Related Tags:

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