A wok is a great tool for cooking Asian cuisine – or indeed, cooking any meal with plenty of ingredients. It’s a deep pan with high walls, meaning that there’s less chance of spillage and you won’t have to use as much oil. If you’re looking through woks to buy, or if you’ve just purchased one you need to season it before you set out on your maiden voyage to cook something delicious – and here’s how!
What is seasoning a wok?
This doesn’t refer to the traditional form of seasoning involving salt and pepper. Instead, seasoning a wok is the process of creating a protective layer, or ‘patina’, over the wok’s inner surfaces. The idea is to create a protective film between your food and the pan.
Seasoning a wok carries many benefits for the food and your equipment. This protective layer prevents your food from sticking to the pan, while also protecting the metal surface while adding to the flavour of your food. If you have a non-stick wok then this process is unnecessary, but this method can still boost your food.
What you’ll need
Before you begin the process of seasoning the wok, there are some items you’ll need to purchase beforehand to make your life easier. They’re as follows:
- Metal scrubber or scouring pad.
- Dish soap.
- Paper towels.
- Two tablespoons of peanut oil or any other high-heat oil.
- One bunch of scallions, sliced into fine sections.
- 1/3 cup sliced ginger.
- Four large cloves of peeled garlic.
How to do it
Once you have all your ingredients, you’ll be ready to season the wok. You should complete the stages as listed below:
The first step is to rub off any layer that the wok came with – this is usually an anti-rust layer that the wok comes with to protect it on the shelf. By using a scouring pad with dish soap you should be able to remove this easily.
The next step is to turn it up to the highest heat. During this process you should turn and tilt your wok to ensure that every area of the metal is covered and allowed to burn. This should leave a matte grey colour.
Now, you need to coat the inner material of the wok in a thin layer of high-heating oil.
Place your freshly oiled wok into high heat and allow the oil to start smoking. Once the oil has stopped smoking you should be ready to cook!
Cooking with a wok can allow you to make tasty, healthy meals. And by seasoning your wok beforehand, you should be all set to cook.