Author Topic: Wot wok, and other wokery?  (Read 3063 times)

Wot wok, and other wokery?
« on: January 26, 2016, 10:30:22 pm »
Our non-stick wok has become very-stick and needs replacing.  Any suggestions for a good wok/features?  Is teflon actually a good thing or pehaps 'carbon-steel'?
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Wot wok?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2016, 11:03:25 pm »
a steel wok treated well, by seasoning then never washing, is at least as good as a telefon one...
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Wot wok?
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2016, 11:11:25 pm »
+1.  Well, I do wash it, but un-aggressively with a sponge - no scraping.

And much cheaper to replace if it all goes horribly wrong.

That said, there's merit to a teflon flat-bottomed wok if you're stuck with cooking on an electric hob.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Wot wok?
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2016, 11:16:48 pm »
Yep, steel. Or even cast iron as long as you keep it 'seasoned'.
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

TimC

  • Bike (ex)pilot
Re: Wot wok?
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2016, 12:58:26 am »
Carbon steel is lovely, if you have a gas hob. If you're confined to an induction or halogen hob, a flat-bottomed non-stick aluminium wok is probably more effective. Yes, you'll have to replace it once in a while, but at least it'll get hot.

Re: Wot wok?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2016, 01:37:35 am »
Steel.  I'm never happy with Teflon at high temps and a wok should get really hot.  We have the largest size Typhoon wok and once seasoned well it's brill.  Like Kim says, just east it gently and heat to dry.

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Wot wok?
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2016, 02:14:14 am »
Ah woks, if you have gas find a local chinese cash and carry to purchase a steel wok.

Carbon steel wok will be below a tenner and needs to be seasoned.  Also get a bamboo wok brush is an example http://www.theasiancookshop.co.uk/bamboo-wok-brush--bamboo-wok-cleaner-804-p.asp wash with water do not use saoap then dry by heating.

This is what my wok has had.

http://www.therevcounter.co.uk/threads/81131-Seasoning-a-wok-as-told-to-me

Woofage

  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: Wot wok?
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2016, 08:35:39 am »
I bought my wok when I was a penniless student oaf in the mid '80s and it still performs perfectly and nothing ever sticks. ISTR it was about 3-quid from the local oriental supermarket. Anything more fancy is a waste of money IMO.
Pen Pusher

Re: Wot wok?
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2016, 09:51:02 am »
Andy - go to the Chinese supermarket on Hythe Bridge Street in Oxford and buy one of the cheap and cheerful ones plus a bottle of cheap sesame oil to season it.

Or buy a Ken Hom non-stick one.  Ours is lasting well.

Re: Wot wok?
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2016, 01:02:39 pm »
Sister asked for one for xmas, so I'm using her as a long term test for one of these:

http://www.kitchenways.co.uk/products/cermalon-large-100-non-stick-ceramic-28cm-wok-with-glass-lid

She's very happy with at the minute but time will tell, no good for an induction hob obviously.

Re: Wot wok?
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2016, 02:38:34 pm »
If you're confined to an induction ...   ... a flat-bottomed non-stick aluminium wok is probably more effective.
Nope!  But induction hobs definitely work better with a flat bottom.

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: Wot wok?
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2016, 03:28:07 pm »
Steel. Don't see much advantage to carbon vs stainless, it doesn't have to take an edge.

After use I wash ours and oil the inside.  Hey, let's have a gratuitous pic.



This was when it had just been seasoned for the first time.

(Note to tourists: in the background you can see the Dome of the Wok.)
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

menthel

  • Jim is my real, actual name
Re: Wot wok?
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2016, 02:52:58 pm »
We got one from the local chinese supermarket and seasoned it ourselves. Still going strong despite years of maltreatment!

Re: Wot wok?
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2016, 05:03:26 pm »
Great - thanks for replies/tips, will look to avoid teflon coatings.
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Wot wok?
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2016, 08:29:47 pm »
deffo CS, ours has lasted 20+ years, bought when I was a student
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: Wot wok?
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2016, 02:45:28 pm »
Earlier this week was in Oxford at the restaurant next to Chinese supermarket, so took the opportunity to get a basic steel wok (34cm) and brush.   :)  Have done the initial clean and season ready for tomorrows first use (over gas)...   

Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

Re: Wot wok?
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2016, 02:14:47 pm »
Earlier this week was in Oxford at the restaurant next to Chinese supermarket, so took the opportunity to get a basic steel wok and brush.   :)  Have done the initial clean and season ready for tomorrows first use (over gas)...   



I wondered what the smell of burning was .....

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: Wot wok?
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2016, 02:50:21 pm »
Can't see the pic.

FWIW I've been using our wok on a ceramic hob for years and got fed up with it being so sluggish, so a week ago I bought one of those wee portable gas-rings. Tried it at lunch-time: great.  Did deep-fried prawns for 3 in half the time of the electric.  Worked out afterwards that I could do that ~6 times on a single cartridge of gas holding 277g.  Chuffed.

I'd like a wok variant with the usual curve in the centre but a much shallower curve towards the rim.  That way I could park food there without it slipping back in.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Re: Wot wok?
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2016, 05:37:11 pm »
Earlier this week was in Oxford at the restaurant next to Chinese supermarket, so took the opportunity to get a basic steel wok and brush.   :)  Have done the initial clean and season ready for tomorrows first use (over gas)...   



I wondered what the smell of burning was .....

Not me, haven't started cooking yet...   ;)   

The wok seems to be fairly well balanced, and even though rounded, I can get it to rest on the cast iron hob pan stands.

T42 - should have fixed the pic (not sure what happened)
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

Re: Wot wok, and other wokery?
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2016, 08:13:15 pm »
Well I probably need to brush up on my wok stills a tad - nothing burnt though, and I love fresh ginger!  The chicken seems to generate a load of fluid - makes you wonder whether it's pumped with saline, anyway drained that then put to one side to do the veg.  Don't know what others do...
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

Re: Wot wok, and other wokery?
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2016, 08:57:05 pm »
Woks aren't really designed to be used on UK cookers, in the far east and in restaurants/takeaways you have big ring burners, with a much bigger gas supply. It's also easier to toss a wok using a proper wok hob, as they normally sit in a hole, so you can use the edge of a hole to flip things up.

You can stop the juices coming out of the chicken by "velveting" it (google it, it's the standard Cantonese method, but it's basically coating it in egg white and corn flour) it seals the meat, and keeps it juicy as well as acting as a barrier. The other method is just putting the meat in a deep fat fryer for a few seconds before putting in the wok.

menthel

  • Jim is my real, actual name
Re: Wot wok, and other wokery?
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2016, 10:30:10 pm »
Our cooker has a wok burner ring. Big bugger in the middle, not the jet powered authentic one but does a very good job!

Re: Wot wok, and other wokery?
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2016, 10:56:48 pm »
Well I probably need to brush up on my wok stills a tad - nothing burnt though, and I love fresh ginger!  The chicken seems to generate a load of fluid - makes you wonder whether it's pumped with saline, anyway drained that then put to one side to do the veg.  Don't know what others do...

Woks need a shed-load of heat to work really well when both cooking meat and veg to prevent you ending up boiling it rather than frying it.  One option if you don't have a monster burner is to do the meat etc in smaller batches so you can get enough heat to it.  Never back-off the heat. If you're worried about burning then keep it moving.
I also use the Wok to brown meat for casseroles and the like, a handful at a time.  I find I get less water if i add the meat with a very quick initial stir and then leave it alone to mostly cook through before stirring.

Cornflour alone works almost as well as the cantonese method including egg white.

Re: Wot wok, and other wokery?
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2016, 09:08:06 am »
OK thanks that's helpful.  Our largest burner is 3kW (had it on max whole time), and I notice domestic wok burners seem to be 4/5kW+.  Just have to learn to use the available tools I guess - at the time of getting a replacement hob I think we just wanted something to fit the work surface gap, and the wok hobs were more elongated...
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

Re: Wot wok, and other wokery?
« Reply #24 on: February 29, 2016, 09:39:39 pm »
...
You can stop the juices coming out of the chicken by "velveting" it (google it, it's the standard Cantonese method, but it's basically coating it in egg white and corn flour) it seals the meat, and keeps it juicy as well as acting as a barrier. The other method is just putting the meat in a deep fat fryer for a few seconds before putting in the wok.
 

Only second outing for the wok, & I tried an impromptu 'variation' of this by coating the raw chicken just in a fair bit of plain flour and a bit of oil before woking.    Hardly any watery juices and end result definitely more succulent, and, it didn't stick much while cooking!   :)
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.