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Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Detectorist, Sep 22, 2012.
trying to eat healthier....how hard is it to stir fry?
<<< No clue
pretty easy - you just need to remember to use enough oil to keep stuff from sticking, really high heat to sear, and keep the amounts down to what you can get hot quickly.
The secret of the wok is high heat, so you're actually stir-frying. If you don't have enough heat, things just kind of sit in the bottom of the wok, kind of half-boiling in their own juices, which is no good.
Most electric stoves and gas stoves with smaller burners don't really generate enough heat to do it properly. Not to say you can't make some good stuff, but don't be surprised that you're not turning out the kind of quality that an Asian restaurant can...
Some years back when we had a gas stove I watched one of those half hour infomercials late one night when I couldn't sleep. It was selling an authentic hand hammered Chinese wok with all the tools and accessories. It is a science the way that thing works.
The thickness gets gradually thinner as you move up the sides. The cooking only happens in the bottom and you pull the food that is done up high on the sides while the rest of it continues to cook.
The ancient Chinese had nothing much to burn for fuel so they sliced their food very thin to minimize cooking time. That's why it looks and is cooked the way it is.
I really enjoyed cooking with it. It is very time consuming and requires lots of slicing and chopping and making of sauces etc. I wouldn't want to try it if I was rushed for time but I found it satisfying and rewarding to spend the afternoon making my favorite: Moo goo guy pan and shrimp fried rice and pepper steak. There are hundreds of recipes out there and you can always experiment on your own.
It's not for everyone I don't suppose but if you like to cook you may just get into it.
Good post. You really can't do this in a non stick wok or a non hammered wok where the food will not stay up on the sides of the wok in the low temp zone. The wok you speak of enables the chef to manage temperature and cook in different temp zones. Otherwise, it's simply a stir-fry.
As Deanster correctly pointed out its nearly impossible to stir fry well on your average kitchen range--gas or electric--because it doesn't generate enough heat.
The problem with a wok is its relatively thin and when you throw some cold food in the thin hot wok it brings the temp down too low to really stir fry. You can buy a high BTU propane burner for about $100 to do this. But you need a lot of concentrated heat to run a wok well otherwise you end up stewing things not stir frying them.
The best woks are the traditional cast iron Pow woks. Its VERY thin cast iron and transfers heat more readily than a steel wok. They are delicate and will crack. These cast iron woks are most often what you see in chinese restaurants. The steel woks are mostly an invention of modern chinese industrialism. THey aren't a bad product. But they can't compare to a cast iron wok in many ways.
Good info here: http://www.wokshop.com/
It's really easy and you can control how much fat/grease/oil/whatever you want. I started doing it and lost the weight I wanted. I use a lot of cabbage and chicken in mine and sometimes add lo mein noodles. You can get as creative or as bland as you want. It's probably one of the best ways to cook IMO. Just make sure you get a good wok and not some crappy one that will make everything stick.
I always heard it is prepared the way it is because it is rude to ask your guests to have to cut their food at the table.
slice thin a small amount of any kind of meat
sprinkle the meat with garlic powder, ginger powder, and cinnamon.
(it should taste like one flavor, use the smallest amount of cinnamon)
slice thin whatever vegetables you have
heat wok, add a small amount of oil, add the meat and stir until done(short time .the pieces are thin and the wok is Hot)
remove the meat and dump in the veggies stir until cooked but not overcooked and limp
add the meat back
add some toasted sesame oil,shot of hot sauce, shot of soy sauce stir and serve.
( if you divide the veggies and use 2 different kinds of meat ,one pork chop,shrimp, or a piece of chicken you will get 2 different flavors)
If you have a home improvement store handy, they usually have a section for outdoor cooking at Lowes, Home Depot, and Menards.
I purchased a fish frier kit at Menards for $45 that included a small pot and basket. Just last week I tried using the propane burner included in the kit for the wok. It works GREAT!
41k BTU propane burner on a stand. It also works great for canning. Mine has a 10 PSI regulator
[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Bayou-Classic-2212-Aluminum-Outdoor/dp/B000291GC0/ref=sr_1_1?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1348321495&sr=1-1"]Amazon.com: Bayou Classic 2212 Aluminum Outdoor Fish Cooker Set: Patio, Lawn & Garden@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41D9BMKJF1L.@@AMEPARAM@@41D9BMKJF1L[/ame]
Yep, that's what I use.
Get a pig iron wok and season it properly. Done right, its one of.the best cooking methods IMHO.
I got a propane burner from a turkey fryer and it works great for wokking. Plus it's used outdoors so your house doesn't smell like a greasy chopstick. As said, you need a good to decent wok and lots of heat. I've also found that cutting everything to about the same size helps. And under-cook everything - meats seared at high heat are more cooked than you think and veggies will turn to mush real fast. I do all my prep and take it all out to the burner. It's usually a bunch of small bowls and paper plates that get lined up in order. Once the cooking starts it's fast and furious and you don't want to stop to think what you're going to do next. Enjoy it; a lot of the planet has used it to eat for a long time.
We bought a wok one time from an infomercial or something, I think. The only thing I remember cooking in it was a hot and sour cabbage recipe that was in the little cook book that came with it. I don't even know where the damn thing is now.
That looks pretty spot on to the recipe I remember. I'd highly recommend it as a good starter to stir frying and an awesome tasting dish. I think I cooked it 5 or 6 times before moving on to something else and forgetting about it. A head of cabbage is going on the grocery list now though.
Bought a hammered Wok years ago and use it 3+ times a week. Very easy to use and learn on. Always had a gas stove with out any problems. The real trick is to season the Wok. All my friends that likes to cook I bought one for them for Xmas. Here is where I bought mine but it comes with a set. http://www.wokshop.com/HTML/products/woks/wok-hh-2mtl-handles.html
Very easy, takes no time at all. If I'm feeling lazy and don't want to cook a stir fry is ready in 10 minutes.
Carbon steel, cast iron, stamped, or hammered doesn't matter as long as the quality is good. Unlike was asserted above, nearly every restaurant uses stamped steel. Cast iron is too fragile when you make it thin enough to pao.
You don't pull food up the sides when it's done. That's infomercial BS. Cut the veggies so they cook at the same rate or add fast cookers later depending. Cook your meat. Dump it out. Cook the veggies and/or rice/noodles. Add meat back in. Slop on your sauce. Done.
Learn from Yan can Cook videos. He is the master wok chef that i know.
I thought this was going to be a Beastie Boys thread.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qORYO0atB6g"]Beastie Boys - Intergalactic - YouTube[/ame]
Thanks for all the help, guys!
Next question, can I use a skillet instead of a wok, and will it get the same results?
Yes, you can use a skillet. And actually, you'll get pretty much the same results if you're using a standard stove.