If you’re a fan of Chinese cuisine, then the chances are good that your kitchen is equipped with at least one wok. With the help of this kind of pan, you’ll be able to whip up an incredible chow mein in a matter of moments. But that’s not all that woks are good for: if you know your stuff, you can actually use a wok for a range of different kinds of cookery.
Sit a bamboo steamer at the bottom of your wok, along with just enough boiling water to create enough steam to cook your meal. Steaming is much more practical than frying, and it doesn’t involve smoke or sizzling oil – which makes it a healthy option for everyday meals. Steaming is even preferable to boiling when it comes to cooking vegetables, as it will keep the nutrients inside the food.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have deep frying. This means pooling cooking oil at the bottom. Since your wok has shallow sides, it’s easier to fish out the fried food, and there’s less chance of fat bubbling up over the edges and onto your countertop. Just make sure that you have a thermometer to hand, and that you monitor the pan at all times. Don’t deep-fry in a room with small children or pets.
If you’ve got a wok, then you can cook an omelette in a matter of moments. You won’t get much in the way of sticking, and you’ll be able to easily slide the omelette onto the plate when you’re done. You’re not going to be doing any stirring here, once your eggs are properly mixed.
Cooking differently for the first time
If you’re used to doing certain things a certain way, then you might find it difficult to make the transition to a new method. It’s for this reason that many of us end up stuck in a culinary rut. The best way to get out of this habit is to force yourself to do something different at least once a week. Make time for kitchen experimentation at the weekend, and see if you can incorporate the lessons you learn into the rest of your life in the kitchen.
So, if you’d like to try steaming for the first time, set aside a given day of the week for the attempt. If you end up failing, then make sure that you have something pre-cooked and ready to go in the freezer.
Make sure that your kitchen is clean, that you have a plan for the space, and that you’ve done as much preparation in advance as possible.