Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Talk the Talk, Wok the Wok (Part 1)

I am often asked, “What’s a wok?” and “Do I need one anyways?” So, to answer those questions, I will be writing three or four short posts on the subject. My goal is that by the end of these posts, you will have acquired a greater understanding about the wok and be able to finally, TALK THE TALK, and WOK THE WOK!

Ok - after explaining my utterly corny title - let’s begin. In this post I will explain what a wok is and a short blurb about its history.

Hirstory Blurb
Invented roughly 2000 years ago, the wok has become known as the quintessential piece of equipment in Chinese cooking. It’s not hard to figure out why. The wok is a big, deep, round-bottomed, thin metal cooking pan (to me, it always looked like a metal salad bowl with a handle). Its unique design makes it very versatile. It’s perfect for stir-frying, steaming, boiling, deep-frying, and so much more!

Its Good Qualities
The wok is such an efficient cooking tool because it heats up quickly and does not require a lot of oil to cook with. Not only that, the curved shape of the wok helps cooks to stop playing the “chase-the-food-around-the-pan game” and having ingredients go “overboard” when stir-frying and tossing food.

Makes Cooking Healthy & Fast
The characteristic of having to use little oil makes the wok quite the healthy alternative in cooking. Using a wok makes eating healthy – easy! Food turns out less greasy and you feel better eating the things you are. And if you are one of those people who like to do things fast – then the wok is definitely for you! Using a wok saves cooking space (because you really just need to use one pan), cooking, and clean up time.

Hopefully I have answered your questions about what a wok is and if you should buy one (really the choice is yours!). Stayed tuned for my next post, which will be about shopping for the right wok!

Till then!