Monday, October 09, 2006

Wok update

Well, I’ve been putting my wok to good use. I was surprised to learn that more care goes into a wok than a normal cooking pan. For one, you have to give it a serious initial rinse in order to get rid of the coating put on at the factory. Once that is finished you have to “season” the wok. This is accomplished by heating oil in the wok and making sure the oil is spread around the entire wok. It takes about ten minutes to heat and this process must be repeated at least three times.

Once you have seasoned your wok you can start cooking. However, after using your wok it should NEVER be cleaned with soap; otherwise the seasoning process must be repeated. Essentially, your wok should always have a thin coat of oil covering it at all times to prevent rusting.

Thus far, cooking with the wok was everything I had hoped for and more. It heats up incredibly fast. I tossed in some finely chopped chili, garlic and larger piece of mushroom, bell pepper, onion, broccoli and sweet pea pods onto a dollop of super-heated olive oil, fish sauce, chili oil and soy sauce. The sizzling, crackling sound was music to my ears. The aroma was music to my nose, even though my nose can’t listen to music. I dumped my flash-cooked, stir-fried veggies onto a bed of rice and I was good to go. It was delicious, or as they say in the Far East, dericious.

Last night I experimented with deep frying. I bought tempura mix (although from now on I’ll try to make my own) and coated chopped pieces of veggies with tempura and placed them in the wok, which was filled with olive oil. I used a mix of soy sauce and fish sauce for dipping and the flavors were out of this world. Later I did the same with chicken strips. Mmm, good.

I also made a Thai volcano sauce last night, and it turned out pretty well. I’m going to keep experimenting with sauces until I really get the hang of them. It’s easy to cook veggies and make rice. The key to a good Asian or Indian style meal is the sauce.



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