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Post Info TOPIC: Wok's Cooking


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Wok's Cooking


Yep I have taken up wok cooking,to help out in the kitchen.

So far I have tried - Chicken fried rice - Chicken sweet and sour - Honey Chicken -steamed fish with ginger and soy sauce.

Tomorrow night will be sweet and sour fish. I go to You tube school of cooking,no failures yet.



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I also use a Wok when doing stir frys, easy cooking cleans easily (compared to non-stick frypans) but steams out the kitchen - How do you prevent that from happening, I have a range hood but steam isn't stopped.

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Possum; AKA:- Ali El-Aziz Mohamed Gundawiathan

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We bought a wok when first married, over 50 years ago, still going strong and used frequently.

Re the steam problem Possum, if you produce steam you must be using a lot of water or water based additives, we use the wok to stir fry, little or no steam produced, perhaps a little at the end if a drop is needed for moisture or to liquefy the sauce.

When cooking with a wok smoke is more of an issue than steam.

Our range hood takes care of smoke and steam, even when steaming Asian dumplings.

The concept of stir frying is oil in a very hot wok, swirl oil to coat wok surface, we use peanut oil (very high smoke point) but, if your using enough heat you will still get plenty of smoke, add ingredients and cook fast, don't use it to stew stuff.smile

 



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Santa.

Moonta, Copper Coast, South Aust.



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Can you " wok " on electric hot plate ??

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Craig1 wrote:

Can you " wok " on electric hot plate ??


Gas is ideal, we have induction in our unit, works pretty well.

I find old style coil electric elements too slow to respond, wok cooking is all about lots of heat fast.

Some thought in this video.

 



-- Edited by Santa on Wednesday 9th of August 2023 10:40:15 AM

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Great video; I think he may have helped me out - I have a specified wok burner on my (gas) kitchen stove. (it could almost double as a foundry flame).

Being an old fart my main oil used is Olive due to heart problems - If used in wok it burns readily. I cook ingredients seperately, store/place in metal bowl until everything cooked, then put it all back in wok to reheat and mix adding a broth to heat it through, therein the steam problem.

As I cook to have several meals out of one cooking, I may have too much food.

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Possum; AKA:- Ali El-Aziz Mohamed Gundawiathan

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Possum3 wrote:

Great video; I think he may have helped me out - I have a specified wok burner on my (gas) kitchen stove. (it could almost double as a foundry flame).

Being an old fart my main oil used is Olive due to heart problems - If used in wok it burns readily. I cook ingredients seperately, store/place in metal bowl until everything cooked, then put it all back in wok to reheat and mix adding a broth to heat it through, therein the steam problem.

As I cook to have several meals out of one cooking, I may have too much food.


Olive oil less than Ideal Possum, as I mentioned peanut oil is the oil of choice because of it's high smoke point, bear in mind, you don't use much oil, however if your OK with olive oil so be it.

Yep! I have a wok burner on the gas stove at Moonta, they are very good.

Over crowding a wok is a problem, food tends to stew rather than stir fry, hence steam.

"I cook ingredients seperately" I do the same with onions, meat, prawns etc then combine them and add sauces etc.

Re induction stoves, a flat bottom wok pictured below) is ideal, makes direct contact with the heat source so faster transfer of heat.

Flat bottom wok..jpg 



-- Edited by Santa on Wednesday 9th of August 2023 11:44:28 AM

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Santa wrote:
................  Olive oil less than Ideal Possum, as I mentioned peanut oil is the oil of choice because of it's high smoke point, ........


 Not quite so simple as this article explains.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil the best for frying

I chased down the study referenced in that article.

ACTA study on cooking oils

Apparently what is more important is the level of "polar compounds" produced. Polar compounds are what gets produced when oils decompose. These are known to be associated with Alzheimers, Parkinsons and some forms of cancer. EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) does best, as well as in Oxidative Stability.

In the case of Wok cooking, the time spent at high heat is very short, so the time spent to oxidise is also important. Coconut oil tops the list by a long way initially. It's then a toss-up between peanut oil, EVOO and coconut oil for the length of time we would normally be frying.

Looking to see if there was commercial bias in the study a quick search for "Best high temperature cooking oil" comes up with many similar articles. Universally, Canola oil scores poorly in all tests.

 



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Won't argue the point, from personal experience I much prefer peanut oil for stir fry, olive oil for most Southern European cooking, salad dressings etc, having said that, I use much more olive oil than peanut.

As I've already said, I've found olive oil starts to smoke at a much lower temp than peanut.

I'd be interested in learning of your cooking experience with both oils AWL.

 



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Santa.

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Santa wrote:

I'd be interested in learning of your cooking experience with both oils AWL.

 


Possum's post about frying with olive oil has cost me 2-3 hours today. biggrin 

I actually clicked to Reply to that post with the intention of responding along the lines of what you did .... that the lowish smoke point of olive oil is not good for the high temperatures in wok frying. But I like to post supporting evidence if I can easily find it. So I searched for articles that said just that. But the search results pointed out the fallacy of only considering the smoke point. After looking at many articles, I now appreciate that (olive) "oils ain't oils" ... to quote an old advertising mantra. And smoke point is not the primary indicator we should be looking at.

It seems that olive oil is OK, virgin olive oil is better, while extra virgin olive is better again. If only considering "olive oil" then yes I would agree it is not good for frying. Different levels of "virginity" make the difference.

I did not look specifically at peanut oil but based on your comment checked that as well. While it has good properties the Omega 6 content is very high.

Is peanut oil healthy?

I am a firm believer that inflammation is the root cause of many evils in the body, and so like to avoid Omega 6 rich products.

Now to your question. A few years ago I searched for information on cooking oils, focusing on smoke point, oxidation level and good Omega 3 / Omega 6 ratio as the primary considerations. The oils I decided on were extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and macadamia oil. Macadamia scored the best on those, and the actual Omega 3 level is highest, but it is 2-3 times the price. If I intend slow frying, EVOO would be the choice, but higher temperature I would choose one of the others.

After that 2-3 hours this morning, and reading about the polar compounds I think it's time to dig a little deeper to see if I should change.



-- Edited by Are We Lost on Wednesday 9th of August 2023 03:19:02 PM

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Sorry to cost you so much time guys in checking facts but it's really academic; the health reasoning of my choice is important, but the taste is much more importanter.(sic)

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KJB


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After a lot of research I was able to make a purchase which has been very successful.

This is what is needed to get things happening as they should with Stir Frys......

"Rambo Wok Burner" (check out EBay)

 

  - Mine was $230 Delivered. Complete with High Flow Regulator and Self Ignitor and easy to use Control Valve. Puts out approx. 4 times the heat of  a normal Domestic Gas Stove Wok Burner or 6 times the heat of a normal gas stove burner. Easily adjustable and instant high heat  when needed.  It "sears" on demand not "stews"........big difference. 

The best thing ........aside from a trip to Asia........ !

2021 12 15 Pork  with Amelia  (2).jpg

Lisa  4 Dec. 2021.jpg



-- Edited by KJB on Wednesday 9th of August 2023 04:28:24 PM

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KB



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KJB wrote:

After a lot of research I was able to make a purchase which has been very successful.

This is what is needed to get things happening as they should with Stir Frys......

"Rambo Wok Burner" (check out EBay)

 

  - Mine was $230 Delivered. Complete with High Flow Regulator and Self Ignitor and easy to use Control Valve. Puts out approx. 4 times the heat of  a normal Domestic Gas Stove Wok Burner or 6 times the heat of a normal gas stove burner. Easily adjustable and instant high heat  when needed.  It "sears" on demand not "stews"........big difference. 

The best thing ........aside from a trip to Asia........ !

2021 12 15 Pork  with Amelia  (2).jpg

Lisa  4 Dec. 2021.jpg



-- Edited by KJB on Wednesday 9th of August 2023 04:28:24 PM


Good setup KJB, looks close to what the cooks in SE Asia use, the burners they use burn like a blast furnace.

I note your using the good oil.wink



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Santa.

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I base my opinions on over 60 years of practical cooking experience and what works for me, not on what I've read.

Neither my better half nor I have succumbed to to any of the nasties the keyboard experts tell us we should avoid at all cost, must be doing something right.

As an addendum, I also ascribe to the adage of Julia Powellquote-you-can-never-have-too-much-butter-julie-powell-80-55-59.jpgwhen it comes to cooking, you can never have too much butter.



-- Edited by Santa on Wednesday 9th of August 2023 05:17:00 PM

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Santa wrote:
..... you can never have too much butter.

That part we can agree on.

Butter (good or bad for health?) was actually what got me started me on good oils and bad oils research. For decades we have been told butter is bad for us ... particurlarly heart health. So having an enquiring mind on why, and looking for actual statistics I looked up the results of the Framingham Health Study .... the largest and longest running study in history. Whether things have changed since or not, I don't know, but France cosumed 8 times the butter per capita than Australians, and had better heart results. I went on a trip to Uruguay where all the fattier meat cuts are the sought after ones. Yet there is no obesity epidemic there and their heart stats are similar to Australia. The food pyramid we were force fed for decades is upside down. It never made sense to me that we (as carnivores) were the only life form on the planet that avoided the fatty parts of the kill.

Anyway, apologies for thread drift. After all this talk, I have a wok but being an all electric house no suitable burner. The one posted by KJB looks tempting.

 



-- Edited by Are We Lost on Wednesday 9th of August 2023 05:51:21 PM

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Another silly question then, what about a Wok on a Weber, without the grill plates ?

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Craig1 wrote:

Another silly question then, what about a Wok on a Weber, without the grill plates ?


 We have a Weber Q Craig, cant imagine trying to use a wok on it, they burn with quite a gentle flame, the opposite to what you need for stir frying.

BTW, no questions are silly, perhaps some of the answers.wink



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Santa wrote:
Craig1 wrote:

Can you " wok " on electric hot plate ??


Gas is ideal, we have induction in our unit, works pretty well.

I find old style coil electric elements too slow to respond, wok cooking is all about lots of heat fast.

Some thought in this video.

Being a newbie to wok cooking,have found "Wok with Tak" very helpful 



-- Edited by Santa on Wednesday 9th of August 2023 10:40:15 AM


 



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Tonight's meal turned out alright.

sweets.jpg



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KJB


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Plain Truth wrote:
Santa wrote:
Craig1 wrote:

Can you " wok " on electric hot plate ??


Gas is ideal, we have induction in our unit, works pretty well.

I find old style coil electric elements too slow to respond, wok cooking is all about lots of heat fast.

Some thought in this video.

Being a newbie to wok cooking,have found "Wok with Tak" very helpful 



-- Edited by Santa on Wednesday 9th of August 2023 10:40:15 AM


 


 Yes ,Tak makes it pretty clear that you need access to a lot of heat instantly, when needed, and to keep the food moving constantly in the Wok - better to cook one serve at a time as it is too easy to overload the Wok and have food burn in a hot area or stew in a cooler area because it is not being moved. I have tried some other oils but find that they all catch fire - really, I mean REALLY easy - at the temperature a Wok needs to operate properly. Peanut oil can handle the heat without a problem.  A cheap ($30) tin wok works best once seasoned. A set of wok tools (not expensive) is also recommended (longer handles than normal long handle kitchen tools) - otherwise you will learn that "welding gloves" will become your favorite "cooking apparel".

You need to cut up all ingredients before you start and have them where you can pick them up with one hand quickly to add to the Wok. Also any condiments need to be very close with lids removed as once the process starts you will only be able to use one hand to add ingredients and adjust the heat as required, the other is constantly busy stirring. The cooking process all happens "super quick", so be prepared. A beaker of water is also handy to be able to add a little at times to prevent food from drying and burning.

As a side note I have watched Asian Chefs operating large Woks and they alter the intensity of the flame with their knee via a gas valve with a spring loaded lever - this leaves both hands free for stirring and tossing.

The set up is not expensive, Wok cooking is interesting to learn and the food is healthy and appetizing.



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KB



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This video by Uncle Roger is worth a look (Nigel Ng  is a Malaysian stand-up comedian and Internet celebrity based in England)

Humerous with plenty of tips, he has made a number of other video's, if his humour appeals chase them up.



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Santa.

Moonta, Copper Coast, South Aust.



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Hmmmmm, this thread went cold pretty quick.biggrin



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KJB


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Santa wrote:

Hmmmmm, this thread went cold pretty quick.biggrin


 Must have "tossed" it in......!



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KB



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I was under the impression that olive oil if used with higher heats changes from a good oil to a not so good oil?

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KJB


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dogbox wrote:

I was under the impression that olive oil if used with higher heats changes from a good oil to a not so good oil?


 Olive oil is not good for "stir frying" ....in simple words - burns too easily (actually catches fire) but also creates a bad taste when overheated..... Peanut oil or grapeseed oil is "the go"..... 



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KB



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I used to use cotton seed oil but changed over to olive oil because of saturated fats.

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If anyone is still interested, more tips on stir frying.smile



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Wok Hei.

Another term to contemplate.

I know, I'm probably talking to myself, thought it was worth passing on though.smile

The wok hei cooking technique and its uses in Chinese cuisine

Wok heis meaning and its unique flavour

Wok hei translated into English means wok thermal radiation or, metaphorically, the breath of the wok. It refers to the flavour and tastes imparted by a hot wok on food during stir frying, and is particularly important for those Chinese dishes requiring searing heat, such as Hakkasans signature black pepper rib eye beef with merlot. These dishes should have a complex smoky flavour that is only achieved by cooking fresh ingredients over extreme heat, meaning that the flavour develops while simultaneously retaining the textural crunch.

While extremely high heat is necessary, creating wok hei is more difficult than simply raising the flame temperature underneath the wok to extraordinarily high levels. In fact, creating wok hei is so tricky to get right that often it is used as a measure of a Chinese chefs skill, and these chefs often spend years trying to perfect the art.

In order to achieve wok hei, there are a number of different things to consider:

The wok should be heated gradually so that it reaches a very high temperature just before the oil, raw vegetables and meat are added. The cooking oil shouldnt be added until the wok is screaming hot, and then it should be added cold just before the raw ingredients are added. This way, the oil wont chemically decompose due to the high temperatures.

The amount of oil added to the wok is important: too much and the food will be fried, too little and wok hei wont be achieved. The reason a flame ignites is due to the water on the ingredients causing fine oil droplets that mix with the oxygen in the air coming into contact with the flames below the wok when the food is tossed. The flame is necessary for wok hei to create that singed, smoky taste.

The water in the ingredients, coming mainly from any raw vegetables, is important to achieve wok hei but difficult to manually control. Too much water in the vegetables and they will become soggy in the wok, but too little the food will dry out or burn.

Its important not to include too much food in the wok when trying to achieve wok hei. Stir-frying a small amount allows for accurate temperature control and quick stirring.

 

 



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Just brought some peanut oil to try,last night my canola caught fire. Wow it looked like I was a pro.,cooking

Beef mince,fried rice. Came out fantastic.



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Something like this Alan?biggrin

All oil will ignite if you get it hot enough.

Sticky Chinese stir pork fry for us tonight.

https://www.taste.com.au/recipes/sticky-chinese-pork-stir-fry/deb19404-4aea-4f5c-ad5e-cf7974109727

C3f2-0mWIAA3vJY.jpg



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Santa.

Moonta, Copper Coast, South Aust.

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