The genius behind a wok recipe is that the stir-fry technique can cook a gigantic variety of foods quickly and efficiently. Stir-Fry cooking was created in an attempt to cook the largest amount of food using the least amount of fuel.
In addition to cooking quickly, stir-frying also yields deliciously vibrant colored dishes! Another excellent thing about a wok recipe is that even the most inexperienced cook will have great results.
Stir-frying is a great way to get a low-fat, tasty dinner on the table in a flash. Worldwide, it's one of the most popular forms of cooking. Stir-frying is centered on very high heat that sizzles, sears and smokes your food. The secret to success is to cut your meat, poultry, fish and vegetables into bite-sized pieces that cook evenly in minutes.
Chop and dice all of your ingredients into identical or similar-sized chunks. Using a sharp knife or a Chinese cleaver, take your time and cut the vegetables into as uniform a shape as you can so that they will cook evenly in the wok. I recommend you place foods once cut into small bowls and put them near your cooking surface to allow you to continue chopping. Once everything is chopped, prepare any sauce you may be cooking with for the wok recipe.
Place your wok over the heat source on medium-high. Let the wok heat for about 10 seconds, then pour a drop of oil, about 1 (no more than 2) teaspoons of peanut or sesame oil. Peanut oil has a high smoking point and is ideal for the high temperatures of a wok. Let the oil heat for 10 to 15 seconds. Then begin to put in your seasoning vegetables like garlic, onion, and ginger. These ingredients will flavor the wok. Stir-fry them for 10 seconds using a wooden or heavy plastic long, flat spoon.
Next, add the longest cooking vegetables; add any meat now. Cook the meat until it is almost done. Push the meat up the sides of the wok to prevent further cooking or remove it completely from the wok. Your last ingredients to be stir-fried are those that have the shortest cooking time.
The easiest way to determine which veggies need a long cooking time and which a short, is that hard vegetables take the longest, while softer, leafy vegetables have shorter cooking times.
Think about color when making a stir-fry. Strips of bright orange carrots or bold red peppers offset stir-fried mushrooms. Also consider bold flavors for your sauces. Although you can prepare a stir-fry without a sauce, sauce can transform a stir-fry into something really delicious.
Here are a few sauce ideas for 4 servings of vegetables and/or meat (chicken, shellfish, or beef). Simply mix your chosen sauce together and add it to the cooked foods for the last minute of cooking (or the minute before adding a thickener).
· 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, 2 Tbsp dry sherry, 2 tsp honey
· 1/4 cup low-sodium, low-fat chicken broth, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 2 Tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tsp sugar
· 1/4 cup oyster sauce, 1/4 cup low-sodium, low-fat chicken broth, 2 tsp honey, 1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
To thicken any of these sauces, add your sauce to the wok with the cooked food then dissolve approximately 2 teaspoons of cornstarch in 2 tablespoons of water. Pour the thickener into the wok and stir until thick. If you need to repeat the process to obtain a thicker sauce, go ahead and do so. Alternatively, you can add the cornstarch to the sauce and completely dissolve it in the sauce before adding it to the wok. Either method will work well for a wok recipe.
Serve your aromatic, crisp creation above a bed of fluffy steamed brown rice, or over noodles like Japanese buckwheat noodles. To reheat leftover stir-fries, just give them quick toss in a hot wok for a couple minutes.
There are many different types of woks on the market today - from cast iron to aluminum. In general, nothing beats a carbon steel wok for stir-frying. However, heavy gauge or hard anodized aluminum woks with a nonstick surface are also becoming popular. For cooking on an electric stove, a flat bottom wok is the best choice, although a round bottom wok with a wok ring can also be used.
From the cookware line designed by famous Boston restaurateur Joyce Chen, these 14-inch diameter woks have a flat bottom which works better on western electric stoves than the traditional round wok bottom. Both carbon steel woks and a wok with a heavy gauge aluminum nonstick surface are offered.
Most have the single long handle with a small "helper" handle on the opposite side, which is my own preference. However, a more traditional wok with two looped handles on either side is also available. See in our Amazon caroussel widget above.
Special Tip: A good wok recipe collection is very helpful for both: time saving and healthy, low fat meals. The bigger your collection the better your flexibility in cooking. Get yourself a good wok cook book.