- Joined Apr 3, 2008
ehat do i need to know about buying and using a wok? I currently have an old Teflon wok that needs replacing.
Great thanksIMUSA carbon steel wood handle. i use this one, as do my two daughters.
You should also read grace young's book, Breath of a Wok
Whole lotta cross contamination going on there.wok hei
It's a concept more Cantonese than Mandarin. There is a flavor in a dish prepared properly in a wok that dissipates fairly quickly. It's why so many Chinese dishes say to "Serve immediately". Or why discriminating customers ask to sit closest to the kitchen in some Chinese restaurants to minimize dissipation of the flavor.
Grace Young discusses the idea in the book we mentioned earlier. It's where she got the title idea.
Now, having said all of that, the term is understandable to all Chinese, but the concept of the flavor is not universal in the cuisine. So you'll find people who disagree that the flavor is real or important and so on. What I think the flavor is like is a certain smokiness and freshness that can be lost if the dish sits.
So at the 4:00 minute mark, Yan is tossing and stirring the wok. Not that this is a great video, just the first one I found. You'll see small flames igniting in the fumes above the forward edge of the wok. When I see that happen, I know I'm making good flavors in my wok. But now that I've switched to induction, I can't trigger that ignition. Still tastes right if done well but the visual cue is lost. Basically this is about the easily evaporated compounds in the food and cooking to release them but eating before they're gone.
That's what I think about the whole idea anyway.