Wok – what is wok and what does it look like?
Wok is a deep round-bottomed frying pan used typically in Chinese cooking. Its shape makes it a perfect pan for stir-frying (a technique of frying meat or vegetables rapidly over a high heat while stirring briskly). The wok is shaped like a bowl with thin walls. A round bottom concentrates heat which makes cooking food quick with relatively little oil.
Woks have a long handle which makes it easy to move the pan while shaking the ingredients at the same time. Usually, woks have also a small handle on the opposite side which makes it easy to transfer the pan from the cooker to the kitchen top or to the table.
What is wok used for? What can you cook in a wok?
If you are wondering if you need a wok and if it’s suitable only for Chinese-style dishes, we want to assure you that the unique design of a traditional wok makes it also suitable for different culinary tasks such as:
- deep frying (when filled with oil)
- steaming vegetables or seafood (when used with special insert)
- boiling food (rice, etc.)or cooking soup (when filled with water)
Is wok better than a regular frying pan?
Using a wok is better if you want to stir-fry your ingredients. It allows you to toss food constantly and shortens cooking time which concentrates flavours. The magic behind preparing food in a wok is high temperature so always make sure you preheat your wok on middle heat before you start. A wok offers shorter cooking time, it fits more food and allows you to prepare dishes with little oil but it requires more skills than a regular flat skillet.
Can you use a wok on electric cooker?
If you want to use wok on an electric cooker choose a wok with a flat bottom (not a round-bottomed one which requires a wok ring). However, you have to remember that flat bottomed wok may scratch the glass surface of a stove so be careful.
In Kulina we offer different types of woks. Most of them have non-stick surfaces and some are even hardened with titanium (see woks made by Woll brand). Some are also suitable for induction and if you are looking for a quality iron wok choose woks by de Buyer brand. You can also see the best selling woks here or read our complete guide on buying a pan.