I’m super excited about my new wok

November 1, 2015

This wok ranks as one of my all time favorite purchases.
Definitely tops in my kitchen, ranking up there with the zojirushi rice cooker and vitamix blender.

So, I started cooking for reals at the end of 2012.
It was a sort of last resort in my dietary experiments. I simply could not be healthy eating out. And I bought the Four Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss to learn how to cook.

Since then, I’ve had a few different pans.
A ceramic one that he recommends, which I torched beyond use immediately. And I returned asap.

Cast iron skillet and dutch oven, which is also recommended. They served their purpose for a while, but are heavy and rusts easily. And food sticks.

A teflon cheapo pan you get at the grocery store. The first one lost its coating, so I bought another one. They cost like ~15.

And lastly, I got a high-end aluminium pan that my mother gave me. It’s great but food sticks too easily. And the sides aren’t tall enough to cook a lot of food.

In 2015, I got sick of prepping, cooking, and washing.
So the new experiment was that all food would be cooked solely in my rice cooker, microwave, or toaster oven. Easy and effortless.

This worked well for a while.
But cooking large quantities of vegetables was difficult, and I wanted to avoid the microwave as much as possible.

At the same time, I got heavy into all things Asian.
Feng shui. Meridians. Broths. Herbs. Acupuncture & acupressure. Eating according to body’s needs (spleen weakness & dampness in the body).

So there needed a way to eat massive quantities of cooked vegetables, instead of raw (bad for spleen weakness). And Asians are famous for their stir fries. High heat, quick cooking means vegetables retain most of their nutrients.

All signs pointed towards getting a wok.
After much research, I found the perfect wok. It’s so good that I’m actually sitting down to write a blog post about it.

I got a flat bottom, carbon steel, unseasoned Joyce Chen wok.

It took a few minutes to season the first time, and now is nonstick. The sides are so tall that I can dump bags of vegetables in with no problem. The flat bottom is helpful for american stoves. I have an electric coil.

The traditional round bottom chinese woks are better for high flamed gas burners, which none of us probably have in our kitchen.

This wok is so spacious that food cooks fast, instead of steaming like it would in a regular pan. It’s much lighter to hold than cast iron. And easy to wash, no soap required. Just hot water & a brush. Nothing sticks.

I don’t know what it is, but it’s super fun to cook on there. I’ve used it to make ground lamb + veg stir fry, quinoa + egg + chicken + veg stir fry, and fried up some saucy chicken wings. Cooking scrambled eggs is super fast.

You can pretty much dump anything on this wok and it will cook it fast. And stuff spilling out is no longer a problem.

Woks rule. Asians rule.
And I look forward to using my wok again on the days I’m not on the potato diet.

Joyce Chen 14 Inch Carbon Steel Wok
How to Buy a Wok – Serious Eats
How to season a joyce chen wok