Australia has seen a growing demand for Asian cuisines owing to the popularity of many restaurants and shows like MasterChef. Being a highly versatile utensil, these are the frontrunners of every Chinese restaurant and Thai kitchen that gives the food the tasty edge that many Australians love! With a love for such delicacies, some have even tried to make their dishes in the comfort of their own home and what better way than using a wok, one of the most common utensils used in the making of Asian food.
Asian cuisines are on the rise, and they will soon be followed by many looking forward to making one on their own. Speaking of home cooking, if making Asian dishes is on top of the list, buying a wok is highly recommended. For starters, take a look at some of the factors to consider:
- The Material: Carbon steel is the most common material that many restaurants recommend. However, if high heat cooking isn’t on the menu, Teflon works well, too, as they are easy to clean and have a surface that doesn’t stick. For those looking to cook acidic foods, stainless steel might be a good option. Not only are they resistant to reactive foods, but they’re also light in weight, making them ideal for kitchen work. Plus, there’s also the added advantage of not rusting. For those opting for a traditional cooking style, the cast iron will quench those desires. The only downside to them would be the seasoning required, along with regular maintenance.
- The Size: This factor largely depends on the number of people involved, and the larger the presence, the bigger the wok should be. 12-inch sizes are recommended for families of two or three, and larger sizes of 14 inches or more for bigger families. Don’t follow the size of the restaurants as they might use those that are almost several feet long.
- Shape and Handles: Those with flat bottoms are used in western kitchens as their stoves aren’t designed for round-bottomed woks. Using wok-ring works too, but flat ones are the commonly used types for both regular stoves as well as electric burners. Dedicated burners for these purposes are also available in the Australian market for those homes that have regular Asian cuisines. Speaking of handles, it’s always good to have two metal ones on both sides as it helps with the cooking. Experienced cooks can do well with one handle, but it might prove difficult for heavier uses.
- Other Factors: Kitchen hoods may be beneficial, but it wouldn’t be recommended for those pressed on a budget. Ensure to invest in a good grease trap to ease the discomfort caused by odour and smoke.
- Maintenance: For those who don’t know, seasoning a wok is very important before starting kitchen work. It is recommended that those starting it out for the first time and allow the utensil to ease into the process. The type of seasoning required depends on the type of material and the size, but the general benefits remain the same. It helps combat rusting and creates a light coat of cooking oil to effectively maximise the efficiency of cooking. It is very important to remove the layer of oil that is present at the time it is bought, so scrub and wash and place it to dry. After drying, set it out on a stove and heat it till smoke appears and afterwards, use a paper towel to run the oil in. This allows the oil present on the surface to break down and render the surface of the utensil completely non-stick.