A cast iron wok is thinner than a normal fry pan. It allows the heat to be transferred and distributed faster. This is the uniqueness of a cast iron wok in that it can quickly heat up and cook your food at higher temperatures. It may be easier to purchase a cast iron wok with a longer handle. Traditional cast iron works have 2 handles but require you to have skill and technique before being able to use it.
Although a traditional cast iron wok requires more skill and experience to cook with, but you will be rewarded with dishes with great taste and texture.
I recommend a cast iron wok with 1 extended handle for ease of use and application. There’s also less chance of burring yourself especially when unloading food onto plates. Traditional 2 handle woks require strength in the forearms to use it with skill and dexterity.
The benefits of cast iron woks are that it adds a smoky flavour to your dish when cooked at the right temperature. It is also easy to clean. Cast iron works can last for years if you look after it properly.
The important thing with cast iron woks is that you need to maintain and clean it well to prevent rusting. After cleaning it, apply a little oil and wipe with a tissue to spread the oils along the wok’s surface to prevent it from rusting.
Have a look on YouTube at various wok techniques you can apply when cooking with your cast iron woks. It’s not rocket science but requires patience and practice, but you will be rewarded with delicious healthy Asian dishes at home.
Cast iron woks are really great for stir fired Asian greens because with a little oil and at the right temperature, you can have a slightly smoky flavour to your vegetables.
Uses for a cast iron wok: *Boiling vegetables *Steaming fish or dim sim *Stir fry *Deep frying
For people who are right handed it will be your left hand which tosses the wok while the right hand uses the wok stirrer.
Tips on cooking:
*Ensure the wok is sufficiently heated before cooking or else the food will stick to the wok.
*Asian greens – slice into thin slices because the wok cooks food so fast, you will want the vegetables cut into 5mm pieces to allow through cooking.
*Meats should be cooked before the vegetables because they take longer.
*Eggs and other easy to cook vegetables should be cooked last.
If you have a Chinese friend then you can certainly ask them for tips on how to use cast iron woks. Good luck and enjoy cooking you cast iron wok.