What to Cook in a Wok? Woks are one of the most common and also versatile kitchen items. This Chinese vessel can be used for preparing different kinds of recipes including stir-frying, deep-frying, steaming, sautéing, and many more. Cooking in a wok is a healthy way as it requires a fewer amount of fat for preparing foods.
The key factors of cooking with a wok successfully are lots of controlled, high-heat, and using high smoking point oils. In this following post, I’d like to share a list of some most common things that you can cook in a wok. So, let’s begin it.
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What to Cook in a Wok | A List of Best Wok Recipes
What can you cook in a wok? Some people think that wok only can be used for preparing Asian foods like Stir-frying. However, there’s a list of top 10 recipes that you can cook using a wok. Check this out to know more.
Using a wok to prepare stir-fry is an easy and effective way to make your favorite Chinese wok recipes. The flapped shape of a wok improves the intense heat in the bottom as well as the walls. This improving heat radiates to the sides which allow both sides and walls to be used to cook ingredients properly with less oil. Stir-frying is a fast and high-heat cooking process, so you need to be careful while cooking.
- Cut all your ingredients into a uniform and the same size so they’ll cook at the same time.
- You can add any of your favorite ingredients including protein, vegetables, onions, garlic, or chili peppers to your stir-fry dish.
- Try to use high-smoking point cooking oil so it can resist the high-temperatures without burning.
- It’s better to use a metal wok spatula for stir-frying instead of wooden utensils.
Recommended: Cast Iron Vs Carbon Steel Wok
Looking for healthy wok recipes? Then use your wok to steam different kinds of food such as fish, vegetables and many more things. All you just need is to add a steamer basket or rack to hold your food ingredients above the water. The sloped concave shape of the wok makes it an ideal vessel for holding a bamboo steamer basket. Using a bamboo steamer basket is the traditional cooking method of China. The useful side of a bamboo steamer is that its lid absorbs extra moisture. However, you can also use a metal steaming rack for steaming your food items.
- Before placing your steamer basket it’s recommended to bring the water to a boil.
- Be careful while adding or removing foods as the basket will be extremely hot.
A wok is a wonderful pot for deep frying. Because of its concave shape, you don’t need as much oil for deep frying. Compared to a Dutch oven, there is less possibility of boiling oil over the wok. With a wok, 2-inches oil is usually enough for deep frying, but ensure that you never fill the wok more than halfway.
- Use a thermometer to check the oil temperature.
- Add the food items to oil at the same otherwise, they’ll stick together.
- Never use plastic utensils to remove the fried food items because plastic can dissolve easily in hot oil.
Also Check: Can You Use Wok On An Electric Stove?
Dry frying is a cooking method in which a protein or vegetables in moderately hot oil without using any batter. As it cooks, the intense heat drives off almost all moisture concentrating the food’s taste and drying out its outside. After completing the par-frying stage, dry-fried foods are then stir-fried briefly with aromatic ingredients.
- For dry-frying, this is essential to cut all of your food items into the same size, so that every piece will cook evenly.
- While cooking, keep the food moving to make sure that all pieces are exposed to heat evenly.
- Use a neutral oil like peanut, soybean, or canola, these will be the best choices for dry-frying. Avoid using oils that have a low smoking point like olive or sesame.
For people who are a big fan of sautéed greens, the wok might be their best friend in the kitchen. Unlike a big sauté pan, a wok can pack in a lot more of those greens in smaller batches. Sautéing a dish means to cook it in a fewer amount of fat or oil to ensure that the food doesn’t stick to the pan. This cooking method is ideal for browning or searing foods especially vegetable items.
- Chop all your ingredients at equal size, this will help to cook them evenly and perfectly.
- Heat your wok over medium or medium to high heat for at least one minute before putting anything in it.
- Use any high smoking oil for sautéing your vegetables.
Smoking is possibly the most exotic and creative method for wok cooking. Unlike most other slandered pans, a wok is wide and deep enough to accommodate an internal smoking set-up. Moreover, the spacious interior of the wok provides enough room for the smoke to circulate the food.
- Ensure that your wok is cleaned completely before setting it up for smoking.
- To prepare your wok for smoking, you must line it with a heavy-duty foil.
- You’ll need to add a mixture of tea leaves, sugar, and rice to the bottom of foil-lined the wok. This simple method will give your dish a delicious smoky flavor.
Making scrambled eggs with a wok is a great idea specifically for large quantities. Once you add the eggs to the hot pan, they cook almost instantly and without sticking. This simple and delicious dish is wonderfully versatile and allows you to add any leftover grains you have from your last night meals.
- Set your burner at medium-low heat temperature to melt the unsalted butter in a wok.
- Crack the eggs right into the wok or pan and ensure that you didn’t scramble them first.
- When your cooking is almost done, add cheese or herbs to improve the flavor of your dish.
- You can use salt and black pepper to season the scrambled eggs at the end of your cooking process.
Mussels are undoubtedly a perfect dinner party dish; they’re quite expensive but elegant enough to impress your beloved ones. However, if you have a wok with a lid in your kitchen, it’s a great cookware item for steaming mussels. With a wok, you’ll be able to steam more mussels at the same time.
- For steaming delicious mussels, you can create a base with garlic, shallots, and fresh herbs.
- Add any of your favorite steaming liquid such as lemon juice, white wine, or chicken broth.
- While cooking, allow the mussels to cook over medium to high heat until they start to open.
Braising is might be the easiest wok-cooking technique and it’s also the most relaxed and certainly least messy. Like a Dutch oven, the wok provides all the benefits that you need for preparing the braise or stew recipe. A wok is ideal for braising as it allows you to stir the foods without resorting to them to a utensil.
- Start cooking at high-heat and turn it down when your stew comes up to a boil.
- When you’re cooking with your wok, don’t leave it on high-heat as it can get very hot.
- Serve this delicious dish with some bread or put it over the rice, and add some fresh herbs on top.
Soup is an all-time popular, satisfying, and warming dish, especially for a cold day or night. This is an ideal as well as easy wok recipe that you can prepare in a wok quicker than with any other traditional pot. The top of the wok featured a great surface area that reduces the time while making soup in it.
- If you prefer to add meat to your soup sear or brown, it before adding it to the soup.
- To improve the flavor of your soup, sauté all your aromatic ingredients and vegetables before adding them to your soup.
- Sprinkle fresh herbs such as parsley, basil, and cilantro over top of the soup to add freshness and bright flavor.
Besides cooking Asian foods, a wok has many more potential uses. If you know what you can cook with your wok you can make the best use of it. However, it’s also essential to take the best care of your wok so that you can use it after years. It’s recommended to avoid using a new wok until it’s been cleaned and seasoned properly. Moreover, it’s also suggested not to scrub the surface of the wok while washing, just rinses it, and use a soft sponger for removing residue.
Useful Resources for Further Reading
- Different Uses for a Wok – The Spruce Eats
- Ways to use your wok you’ve never thought of – Mashed
- How to Master Cooking With a Wok – epicurious