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Old 01-06-2007, 10:03 PM   #1
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Wok

I searched several places on this site for information on WOK cooking and appliances. I didn't find anything. I am sure there is.

Anyway, I am thinking about replacing my wok. I would like one that works on my stove over the burner. I don't know that much about the electric woks. I like the uniform heat that I get using the stove top. I don't know too much about using a wok for outdoor cooking.

Can you help me with information for this purchase?

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Old 01-06-2007, 10:30 PM   #2
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I think i can help some. I love wok cooking as you. I absolutly love thai food. First of all do not get a electric wok. THey will not get NEARLY as hot enough to wok cook. Buy either a carbon steal wok or a cast iron wok. You need a flat bottom. Here is the wok i have:
Amazon.com: Joyce Chen 14-Inch Unseasoned Carbon Steel Flat Bottom Wok with Wood Handles: Home & Garden

Like cast iron carbon steal will need to be taken care of but its not that difficult. It gets extremly hot which is what you need. Ok to wok you need to heat up the wok on as high as you can turn your burner on. Expect so smoke so turn the vent on. Pour some sesame (not the dark stuff) or peanut oil into the wok till it starts to smoke and then start woking. Its as simple as that. Does this help?
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Old 01-06-2007, 11:07 PM   #3
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That looks like a perfectly good wok. Have you seen a two piece wok with one piece that fits over the burner and cradles the wok?

I am an apt dweller; this is one of the worst stoves that I have ever cooked on. One of the front burners is set extremely high and is twice the flame of the others. I think it was made for a wok.

I generally set my wok over medium heat and let it heat (30-45 min) while I prepare the ingredients. Once I'm ready with everything, up goes the heat for 5-10 minutes. (sometimes just 2 min). Sesame is one of my favorites and I think that I will try the oil.

I'm glad you reminded me of that smoke. I usually close off the bedroom doors; but I've got a little dog that is terrified of smoke. I'll give her a fan!
(and that also being her name).


What is one of your favorite wok recipes?
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Old 01-07-2007, 12:01 AM   #4
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The wok in the link is flat bottomed so it doesn't need a ring. The ring is for round bottom woks.

You will have to season that wok as you would a cast iron pan before use.

You shouldn't use sesame oil fro the stirfry. It's fairly delicate and looses a lot of flavor at high heat. Stirfry with peanut oil and season the finished dish with the sesame oil.
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Old 01-07-2007, 12:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
The wok in the link is flat bottomed so it doesn't need a ring. The ring is for round bottom woks.

You will have to season that wok as you would a cast iron pan before use.

You shouldn't use sesame oil fro the stirfry. It's fairly delicate and looses a lot of flavor at high heat. Stirfry with peanut oil and season the finished dish with the sesame oil.
I think your thinking of the wrong typf of sesame oil. The sesame oil that looks like this:
http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/...V54595111_.jpg

not this
http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/...093540121_.jpg

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Old 01-07-2007, 09:46 AM   #6
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I use a carbon steel wok...I have never used the "lighter' sesame oil so I cannot comment on it use other than if that is what you have....go for it!
I use peanut oil in my wok...and the Asian "darker" sesame as finishing oil for flavor only when the dish calls for it or either I just wanna taste it!!! I do love the flavor it imparts....
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Old 01-07-2007, 09:59 AM   #7
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I wish I still had the information, but I did not save it and do not remember the chefs name. Anyway she was a woman who has been a wok chef for many many years, and written many books on wok cooking. She said that there is no need for anyone to use a flat bottom wok, even people using them on electric stoves. She said the round bottom wok is a better bet. I wish I remembered more details so I could back up what I am saying, but unfortunately I do not. Maybe someone here will know who I am talking about and will post a link.
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Old 01-07-2007, 10:23 AM   #8
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GB... my wok is round bottom and I do not use a "fire ring" on my gas stove...It's a little wobbly but I manage as I usually have one hand on the handle anyway. Sometimes I use it outside on a high pressure burner when I really need the intense heat! I have never owned a "flat bottom" one so I can't really comment..other than to say I understand the need for safety/stability on modern stove tops etc to protect the maunfacturer.
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Old 01-07-2007, 10:51 AM   #9
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I've had the same carbon-steel wok since 1975 & would never part with it. It was a gift from my mom that she purchased from a local Asian grocery store in NY. Since I've always had an electric stove with the coil elements (my preference), I use a ring & have never ever had a problem in getting that wok as hot as necessary ("white" hot, in some instances). I ADORE it, & use it for stirfries, blanching large amounts of vegetables, deepfrying, steaming (using a 3-tiered bamboo steamer setup), etc., etc.
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Old 01-07-2007, 11:28 AM   #10
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If you have an electric stove then you want a flat-bottomed wok. In fact, with an electric stove you might also want to consider a carbon-steel frypan made by some french companies that have high walls (I'm currently weighing my options on these). With a gas stove I would use a wok ring and round bottom wok. The key is getting as much of the heat from the source into the pan. With an electric stove that means direct contact, and a wok (even a flat-bottomed unit) really doesn't make much contact. A frypan does, but you want one made from carbon-steel with high enough walls for stir-frying. Then you need to pick the style wok that you want (or frypan). Some are wide/open with two loop handles, and the northern style "pow" woks have steeper walls with a long handle for tossing the stirfry. I like both for different dishes. Carbon-steel woks are dirt cheap, so I have a few for different dishes.

Buy "Breath of the Wok" from your local bookstore or Amazon. It's a fantastic introductory to wok cooking.

I stir-fry with a high-temp inexpensive oil like Canola or Peanut. Sesame oil is relatively high-priced, delicate, breaks down easy, and loses it's great flavor when raised to high temps. Stir seasme oil into a dish towards the end to preserve it's wonderful properties.
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Old 01-07-2007, 11:32 AM   #11
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You can buy that same wok, without Joyce Chen's name on it, for about 12 bucks at Cost Plus World Market. You can also buy small bottles of different types of oil there, so you don't 1. Waste your money on a big bottle of oil you end up not liking, and 2. waste your money on a big bottle of oil that goes rancid before you can use it all.
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Old 01-07-2007, 01:05 PM   #12
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much of it depends on what you want to cook in it also, I have 5 different Woks here, the one Most used for everyday type cooking is my flat heavy based Stainless Steel wok, good for gas or elec :)

I have plain steel, carbon steel types also those are great when heat provision isn`t an issue, they will work on an open fire if you wanted to :)
I also have a thin Alu Wok teflon coated, that`s ok more for elec cooking as opposed to gas and suited to things you don`t want to cook for a length of time, small amounts of veg or egg for instance, you wouldn`t load such a wok with Rice to fry for instance, it`s delicate work only.

I don`t know if that`s any help to you at all?
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Old 01-07-2007, 05:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncage1974
I think your thinking of the wrong typf of sesame oil. The sesame oil that looks like this:
http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/...V54595111_.jpg

not this
http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/...093540121_.jpg

Ncage
The dark sesame oil pictured in your second link is toasted sesame oil. It has a much more pronounced flavor of sesame. Since the OP was looking for sesame flavor, I recommend that for a finishing oil. I would use Asian peanut oil for the stirfry. You sure could use the light sesame for stirfry but there wouldn't get much sesame flavor in the finished dish.
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Old 02-23-2007, 08:38 AM   #14
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I have been to the wok shop on line the wok shop: selling woks for 30 years and had great success. They offer fine products, advice, help, and throw in a freebee recipe book with the order. THey have emailed me advice etc. I expected to need to season the wok the old fashioned way...oil, bake, oil bake etc. but they suggested a different approach...salt season it over high heat...(only works with gas stove and good ventilation. Had that wok seasoned in 30 min, ready to go.

Anyway , they have my recommendation.
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Old 04-05-2007, 02:46 PM   #15
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Stay with a plain, carbon stell wok. Once it's seasoned it'll cook just like seasoned cast iron. I've used a wok for 20 years. I got interested when there used to be a wok infomercial on TV. I finally purchased the set at the WI State Fair. That wok is still my favorite, although I own and use three more including a flat bottom carbon steel wok and a cast iron wok. Stay away from nonstick and electric woks. They're not worth the money. We recently purchased a Viking stove with the wok grate. This has taken wok cooking to an entirely new level! I noticed one of the threads deals with gas stoves any one of the replies hated Viking. I'm here to tell you it's the finest stove I've ever used and don't regret a single penny we spent on it. Just rinse your wok when done, dry it on the stove, lightly oil it, and put it away. Prperly cared for it should last your lifetime.
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Old 06-03-2008, 12:12 PM   #16
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I have a dumb question here. I just bought a wok the other day, and after using it once, I cleaned it, and, not being able to get it completely clean, I put a little calcium remover (water and phosphor acid, I think) in it. after a few seconds I poured it out again, and washed it thoroughly. but, then it turned a yellow-ish colour and started giving off an iron odour that it didn't earlier.
my question: did I ruin my new wok?
my wok is this type:

thank you!
s
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Old 06-03-2008, 01:25 PM   #17
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did you ruin it? no. re season it and only glean it with HOT water and a brush from then on. Dry and heat after cleaning and rub in a little oil before storing your wok.
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Old 06-03-2008, 02:11 PM   #18
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thanks a lot. I will do that.
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Old 06-03-2008, 03:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB View Post
I wish I still had the information, but I did not save it and do not remember the chefs name. Anyway she was a woman who has been a wok chef for many many years, and written many books on wok cooking. She said that there is no need for anyone to use a flat bottom wok, even people using them on electric stoves. She said the round bottom wok is a better bet. I wish I remembered more details so I could back up what I am saying, but unfortunately I do not. Maybe someone here will know who I am talking about and will post a link.
GB, perhaps you're thinking of this article? It's by Kasma Loha-Unchit, a cookbook author and Thai cooking instructor. I took classes from her and highly recommend them. I actually discovered her when I was preparing to buy a wok and googled around for information about how to choose, use and care for one.

I will also second the recommendation for the Wok Shop. I bought my wok there (in person, I live in the Bay Area, they're in SF) and they were very helpful and knowledgeable.

I would like to pass along a tip that the nice folks at the wok shop gave me when i got my wok: Go for one that's larger than standard. In most stores you will usually see 12" and 14" woks. These sizes are fine for couples and and small families most of the time, but not great when you want to cook a big batch. I got a 16" wok and it is great for cooking any size batch I've needed, whether small or large.
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Old 06-03-2008, 06:51 PM   #20
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Quote:
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GB, perhaps you're thinking of this article? It's by Kasma Loha-Unchit, a cookbook author and Thai cooking instructor.
Nope that was not the article, but that was a very good one as well.
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