If the Genie could grant you a wish, what would it be? You can’t ask to win the lottery or to become taller. You are only allowed to make a very precise wish, something that can positively impact your everyday life. In my case, I would opt for making me a better cook.
And if days spent on the Internet searching for quick recipes have taught me something, it is that the cookware you use is often as important as the quality of the ingredients you choose. That’s why the first pot I bought – and I have been using it till today – is a cast iron wok.
What is a wok?
With the spread of oriental cuisine, the wok has arrived not only in restaurants but also on our tables and in our kitchens. The wok is a special pan used in Chinese cuisine, and it has a hemispherical shape. Originally it had two short handles. Now it is easier to find with just one long handle, but the presence of a second handle makes it easier to move it around when needed. The traditional wok is forged in iron or cast iron. It is a rather heavy pan that has the characteristic of retaining heat for a long time so that it takes you less oil and time to cook. The bottom of the wok is in direct contact with the flame.
How to use a cast iron wok
A cast iron wok can be used not only to sauté or to fry food but also for steaming. In fact, this type of cookware is usually equipped with a grill that can be positioned on the upper part of the wok and where you can place the foods suitable for this type of cooking. The grill to be applied on top of the wok is also useful for draining freshly fried foods. The wok in Chinese cuisine is mainly used for stewing; the main advantage of this type of pot it’s that it allows you to cook food quickly and with little added fat. If your cast iron wok does not have a non-stick layer, you will have to season it with vegetable oil or seasoning. If you want to save yourself time and efforts, you can buy a pre-seasoned cast iron wok. Velosan offers high-quality cast iron cookware, kitchen tools, and knives. Their products make cooking even more sustainable and pleasurable. Worldwide cooking enthusiasts and professional chefs appreciate the quality and the design of their cookware.
How to cook with a cast iron wok
A cast iron wok is perfect for stir-fry vegetables in a little oil. All you need to do is to mix them with a stick or a wooden spoon and shake the wok at regular intervals. You will get crunchy and tasty vegetables for a delicious and healthy meal. If you use the grill I have mentioned here above, you can also steam food or just heat it. If your cast iron wok is equipped with a lid, you can use it to prepare stews and braised meat. In the wok, you can also fry foods from time to time. The advantage of high edges is that it can easily contain oil splashes.
The pro tip I can share with you is to cook the different ingredients separately in the wok, starting with those that take longer. Then if necessary you can heat them before bringing them to the table. The golden rules: use a little oil, stir often, move the ingredients still to be cooked towards the center and those already cooked towards the edges. Finally, add herbs, spices, and aromas only after cooking.
Having a cast iron wok in your kitchen is the best and easiest way to boost your cooking skills without spending your whole budget on cooking classes. If you are wondering what brands of cast iron cookware are my favorite, I would mention Lodge, LeCreuset, but even more Velosan. Velosan is one of those companies you don’t see on magazines or on the most famous blogs, but they were definitively the best surprise I got from 2018. They spend more money and time on researching better products than on their PR strategies. I bought their cast iron wok, and that’s why I can totally recommend them to you. Their wok is made of 100% cast iron, which retains heat better than other metals. It’s perfect for making short work of everything from Asian stir fry to a summer vegetable saute. Its flat bottom is ideal for all cooking surfaces, induction included.