Wok it out

You know that bowl shaped thingy that kind of looks like a pan? Yeah, that’s a wok. You don’t absolutely need a wok to dominate Chinese food, but it does have several advantages. It spreads heat evenly, uses less oil for deep frying than a traditional deep fat fryer, and it keeps your stove from looking like a post-war victim. Basically, a good wok makes it easier to cook Chinese food. What kind of wok should you buy? Do me a favor, when you see flimsy woks in IKEA, don’t do it. It might be cheap, but it’s really terrible. I’ve gone down that road…never again. Get yourself a good carbon steel wok. Not only is it relatively inexpensive, but it conducts heat evenly. There are two shapes to a wok— round and flat bottomed. The flat bottomed woks work well with electric stoves, and the round works great with gas stoves.

Is your wok hot enough?

  • check for the “smoke signal.”  The wok should be just starting to smoke slightly.  You may also see a slight blueish tinge on the wok bottom.
  • Do the water test.  Throw a few drops of water into the wok.  if it sizzles, the wok is hot enough.
  • Test for heat.  Hold the palm of your hand about 2-3 inches above the wok’s surface.  You should be able to feel the heat

BONUS RECIPE: Pork Potsicksers, makes 36 dumplings

  • 36 sheets wonton skins
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 vidalia onion
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp lemongrass, minced
  • Dipping Sauce:
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup scallions, sliced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tbsp sweet chile sauce


In a large bowl, combine pork, vidalia onion, sesame oil, cilantro, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, ginger, garlic and lemongrass together. Using the wonton skins, put 1 tbsp meat filling in the middle of the wonton. Brush all edges with water and fold diagonally. Press edges down to adhere. Repeat with the rest of the dumplings. Heat a non-stick pan over high heat until really hot. Coat with vegetable oil. Place dumplings in pan and fry until golden brown. Add 1 cup of water to the pan (with the dumplings) and cover. Steam dumplings until all the water has evaporated and internal temperature of the filling reaches 150 degrees. For the sauce: combine all ingredients together.


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Posted on April 21st, 2016 at 12:08 pm [ssba]