Europeans are accustomed to cooking hot dishes with the help of bowlers, pots, various pans, uatyatnits, pressure cookers. The inhabitants of Southeast Asia, this whole arsenal replaces one single pan, like a bowl. Recently, our hostesses have also been interested in a wok frying pan in China – what it is for, how to choose it and properly operate, many users are interested.
Features and benefits
In the canonical version, the pan is a metal thin-walled cauldron of conical shape with a convex bottom. The round base and thin walls are heated evenly, allowing lightning to cook food on an open fire. This happens with constant stirring: the roasted pieces with a special spatula move up, and the raw ones move down. On both sides, the classic “bowl” had handles, like a pan – thanks to them, it was easy to put the pan in a traditional Chinese wood-burning stove and remove it.
The question is quite logical: if the wok pan with a round bottom is unable to resist on the plane – why is it needed in the modern kitchen? Having made the bottom flat, Western manufacturers adapted the old dishes to the glass-ceramic, electric, induction plates used today. The heat distribution in the wok has become less uniform, but the main advantages remain. So, wok pan – what is it for a modern chef:
- cooking speed;
- universality – besides the usual frying, stewing, smoking, boiling soups, steaming;
- maximum preservation of nutrients due to short-term heat treatment, delicious appearance and good taste of food;
- the minimum fat content in ready-made meals – the absorption of oil is hindered by the constant movement of the pieces in the wok;
- ease of preparation – due to the high walls of the pan wok, the pieces do not pour out of the pan during intensive mixing.
Variety wok pans, selection criteria
Before buying, evaluate the basic parameters of such dishes, affecting its functionality and comfort of use.
Reflecting on how to choose a wok pan on the material, it is worth exploring the pros and cons of different models.
- Carbon steel. Pros: low cost, relatively low weight, strength and durability, excellent thermal conductivity. Possible sticking of food can be avoided if you properly care for your steel pan. True, the cheapest (stamped) woks are prone to deformation.
- Cast iron. He is characterized by longer heating, but he also keeps the temperature longer, evenly distributes heat, and has an anti-burn effect. Usually it is necessary to choose between thin-walled (3 mm) and thick-walled (9 mm) products. The first sometimes crack on the fire (cast iron is fragile), and the latter are too massive. In cast iron pans can not leave ready-made food. Metal may rust from prolonged contact with water.
- Stainless steel. Pros: resistance to high temperatures, practicality. The disadvantage is the lack of non-stick properties.
- Aluminum. Advantages: angi-adhesive teflon coating, low weight. Minuses: scratches quickly appear on the coating, and it collapses from a strong fire.
- Ceramics. Like cast iron, the material is brittle, it may crack from temperature changes. But ceramic woks quickly heat up and do not absorb odors.
Ceramic and aluminum pans are chosen for electric and gas stoves. Cast iron and steel models are suitable for all methods of heating, including using open fire. A wok pan for an induction cooker must also be made of an iron-carbon alloy, for the main requirement for it is the presence of magnetic properties.
The stores offer options for frying pans from 15 to 76 cm. The selection criterion is the number of simultaneously prepared portions. The most popular are the following sizes of the vokov: 15-28 cm (1-2 portions) and 30-38 cm (3-5 portions).
Tip: The optimum diameter is 25-28 cm – such dishes are quite roomy, light and compact. A frying pan with a size parameter of more than 35 cm is too bulky for modern kitchens and household stoves.
Exterior performance and equipment
Choosing a wok pan, pay attention to its design features.
- Bottom. Flat models are suitable for all types of plates. For gas burners, you can buy a traditional convex wok with a round stand for fixing.
- Pens. In addition to pot-like pans, there are models with a long handle and a small oval holder. There are also removable handles (this wok is more convenient to store).
- Equipment. The functionality of the pan expands at the expense of the lid (it allows you to simmer and cook food). Not bad, if the grill is included in the package: you can drain the oil on it from the fried products or cook steam dishes.
Flat wok wok pan with classic two knobs
What and how to cook in wok
As mentioned earlier, a deep pan with conical walls is convenient for the implementation of a variety of culinary ideas. Still, the ideal recipes for wok are stews, stews, rice, meat with side dishes of noodles and vegetables, and fries. In this case, the meat can be of different types – from beef to chicken fillet, vegetables and seasonings are combined to your taste. It is advisable to know in advance not only what is being cooked in a wok pan, but also how to do it correctly.
The basic principle of cooking – fast frying with continuous stirring (in English – stir-fry). The method is quite simple, if you use several proprietary techniques of Chinese chefs.
- All ingredients are cleaned and cut in advance in small cubes or stripes. Hard vegetables are cut more thinly. Meat is chosen more gently so that it can fry.
- Meals are prepared on sunflower, sesame or peanut butter (butter and olive are not suitable for frying).
- Before laying the product, the pan is heated, add oil and heat it. During frying, the fire is not reduced.
- The order of introduction of the components depends on the duration of their preparation. The sequence of the bookmarks may look like this: pork pulp, carrots, onions, bell peppers, greens, sauce, spices, noodles.
- The contents of the pan in the cooking process all the time stir from the center to the periphery. Due to this, the fried pieces will not burn and will reach the condition on the cooler walls.
- Rice, noodles or spaghetti is better to boil in advance.
- To cook with wok juicy, roasted meat with a crispy crust, you need to know a few nuances.
- If you put the filet in the freezer for 15 minutes, it will be much easier to cut it into small pieces.
- Short-term marinating (15-30 minutes) in soy or oyster sauce will help soften meat fibers.
- Meat is laid in hot oil in portions of 40-60 g. If the volume of the product is larger, the temperature in the wok will decrease, meat juice will stand out – and the frying process will turn into quenching.
After acquiring an appetizing crust, the meat is removed with a skimmer so that it does not overcook. It is better to fold it on a paper towel or lattice. When a large number of other ingredients with them do the same (but, unlike meat, removed half-baked). At the end, all the ingredients are returned to the pan and the dish is adjusted to condition.
The wok pan reviews are overwhelmingly positive. But there is an opinion that these dishes are too whimsical and often burns. To avoid this, previously set out the rules of cooking, as well as proper handling of the Asian pan. Features of care begin immediately after the acquisition of dishes.
The “discovery” of a new wok steel pan (the Chinese call it hoi wok) is, in effect, the creation of a non-stick coating. Its technology, adapted to our home conditions, is as follows.
- Wok thoroughly washed with soap, to clean it from dust or preservative grease.
- Water is poured into a washed pan and boiled to ensure that any remaining dirt is removed from the inside surface. On boiled dishes should not be felt fat.
- In the kitchen, open the window, turn on the hood. Make the maximum fire on the gas stove, wok put on the burner.
- When the metal is heated, the color of the bottom will change: in the hottest places it turns blue. After that, the pan is tilted at an angle and turned over the flame to heat the walls.
- When almost the entire surface turns blue, about half a glass of sunflower oil is poured into the pan. The wok is tilted again and rotated for 3-5 minutes – so that the oil moves across the entire inner surface. At the same time keep the pan close to the flame, not allowing it to cool.
- Turning off the fire, stand for 2-3 minutes, then put the wok under a stream of cold water. First, cool the outer and then the inner side.
- They again put the dishes on a strong fire, let the water evaporate. 30-50 g of oil are poured into a dry frying pan, distributed in a container, and heated by heat until smoke appears.
- Turning off the fire, paper napkins rubbed the remaining fat into the heated surface of the wok. The same wipes are then wiped on the outside of the pan to create an anticorrosion coating.
- Allow the pan to cool naturally.
Subsequently, when the frying pan is contaminated, the wok is washed with hot water using a sponge or a soft brush, then it is wiped dry with a paper towel. Detergents should not be used so as not to dissolve the protective oil film.