Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 30

Thread: Woks

  1. #1
    Unobtanium Dogman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    13,674
    Thanks
    2,443
    Thanked 2,080 Times in 1,611 Posts

    Woks

    Seeing that I rediscovered close to 80 lbs of rice that was hiding in my freezer that I posted about. I started to do a very dangerous thing.

    Thinking !



    Been in a semi rut as far as meals go, in that most of my cooking is just to fill the belly and make it to another day then repeat!

    But that rice was bothering me, some I did refreeze for bug control and all, but dam it ! I just could not stop thinking of rice and some recent posts that I made that forced me to think of the past.

    Then I remembered I did have a wok that seems to got hidden or was hiding from me for many years, that I stalked and then found. It is one that I got shortly after I returned from Thailand while in the air force because I did develop a taste for Asian cooking , with Thai and combos of Thai/Chinese/Burmese/Cambodian/Laos/Vietnamese and Indian cooking.

    Very good eating and the sky is the limit when it comes to food combos.

    Mine was sadly neglected for more years than I really can not be sure of in that some rust on my wok developed (carbon steel hammered) that I have and will spend hours getting it back into shape and seasoned correctly. (carbonized oil and fats for a slick finish)

    Woks are not just for stir fry but for sure stir fry is tops in what they can do!

    There is a problem, because of their shape, they are awkward to use, for a round bottom, one needs a wok ring or modified stove top grate, (years ago I cut out the center of one of my grates, works fine of all pots and pans) that allowed the round bottom to sit over the burners.

    But at least for me there is no way to store one like pots and pans can be done, other than hanging on a wall or off a ceiling.

    Memory is returning as I am posting this, seems that when I got married to my one and only wife (evil woman, but I did try) did not care and even hated my wok ! (side note I still have the wok, she is history, but out of sight out of mind) My wok survived, it was up in the attic.

    Anything and everything can be cooked in one, as long as meats and vegs are cut small so everything can cook evenly, tho true wok use is the bottom is hottest and the sides give temp control.

    Wok cooking is eyeballs on and very fast, that demands the cooks full attention, get distracted even for a short time things will burn.

    Wok care if steel is work up a good seasoning, (black) just like cast iron, never never wash it nor scrub it, unless there has been a major screwup that only scrubbing will cure , and then start over with seasoning it. (Same with cast iron)

    To clean just like cast iron, (my way) is to use newspapers after cooking to wipe clean while the wok/cast iron is hot with the stove burner is still going and re-oil under high heat then a final wipe and let it cool down.

    The heat will kill any micro critters and helps build up the seasoning.

    Sorry to say I have no recipes ...Yet..Still in the process of getting my sadly neglected wok back into shape and ready to go.

    The only downside , as stated above is their shape when it comes storing when not in use.

    Thoughts?



    Edit: Flat bottom ones ? never used one!

    Round is traditional an at least for me the only way, I have also made charcoal stoves out of coffee cans for cooking out side with my wok, tho when I learned to use one most were made out of hardened clay!

    Ever seen a charcoal heated iron for ironing clothes?

    Hoot !

    "My reading no matter how transient is a dagger in the heart of ignorance."

  2. #2
    Unobtanium
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    12,556
    Thanks
    2,628
    Thanked 3,179 Times in 2,248 Posts

    Re: Woks

    like woks. I threw my last 2 out due to rusting. One was very good. Had for years. Cheap from chinese supermarket. Other one was a western copy of a wok. Too heavy and unwieldy. Never liked it.

    Our gas changed here and it no longer has the intensity for woking. Which is why mine fell into disrepair as did my diet. Many dishes not being cooked any more.
    Great minds discuss Ideas, Average minds discuss Events, Small minds discuss People. E.R.

    Anytime I'm in doubt I go outside and give it a little shake.
    Liberty Tree.


  3. #3
    Unobtanium Dogman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    13,674
    Thanks
    2,443
    Thanked 2,080 Times in 1,611 Posts

    Re: Woks

    Quote Originally Posted by Glass View Post
    like woks. I threw my last 2 out due to rusting. One was very good. Had for years. Cheap from chinese supermarket. Other one was a western copy of a wok. Too heavy and unwieldy. Never liked it.

    Our gas changed here and it no longer has the intensity for woking. Which is why mine fell into disrepair as did my diet. Many dishes not being cooked any more.
    your gas changed?

    Sounds like the difference between acetylene and mapp gas! Not sure if you call it the same where you are, seeing you guys are upside down. but the same can be said about us/me from your perspective.



    Where there is a will there is a way!

    Yes carbon steel sadly will rust, I thank that my old wok had a great seasoning built up to protect it and is was hidden in a dry area.

    Carbon steel as you probably have learned when it comes to cooking pans and such just need to be wiped out and then oiled while hot then wiped again and let them cool.

    Scrubbing until they are shiny and you see the metal , is a major mistake, stainless is another story sadly, one major mistake with anything that is used to fry and or cook is going overboard with cleaning them so the are shiny, they will look good but never at their best when it comes to flavor.

    Dirty.....No...!

    If done right using hi heat and wipe outs and re-oiling is all that is needed. Any thing that can harm you was killed (sterilized ) during heating and again while pre heating before the next meal.

    But for clean freaks, bare metal and shiny is their god.

    I love my cast iron and carbon steel cooking stuff, yes it does take a tad more care than stainless , but at least for me as my feelings about carbon steel knifes vs stainless.

    Carbon steel rules !

    But can not be neglected as that other metal, and for me the end result as taste goes there is a difference!

    I regularly cook on a old carbon steel frying pan that has been in the family for at least 100 years and more, think it was my great, great grandmothers!

    Stamped steel between 1/16 or now a tad less wall thickness, outside of the pan, major black crust buildup all over. The cooking surface has a black very smooth seasoning that is non stick, that in my memory was screwed up in my time of use and had to be redone over several years of cooking.

    That is still in use, and is my go to fryer because it can handle acid foods better than my cast iron one. Tho acid foods , well the are what they are ! But the steel base finish is smooth, vs my cast iron that remove the seasoning and it is semi rough, but is babys ass smooth with the seasoning.

    You burning natural gas?

    Or LNG, which should be the same ?

    Weard that the heat changed.?

    My only thought is they are diluting your gas with an inert gas, same volume but burns colder.
    "My reading no matter how transient is a dagger in the heart of ignorance."

  4. #4
    Platinum milehi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Out there
    Posts
    1,840
    Thanks
    736
    Thanked 807 Times in 473 Posts

    Re: Woks

    I love my wok. It's from the sixties and I found it in my mom's kitchen while helping her move. I even found the ring. It's the hammered style. Before that I had a cheapo wok and before that, a Teflon coated wok that I sand blasted the Teflon off but it sacked for cooking. With the seasoned hammered wok, my Thai basil comes out perfect.

  5. #5
    Unobtanium Dogman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    13,674
    Thanks
    2,443
    Thanked 2,080 Times in 1,611 Posts

    Re: Woks

    Whoo Wheeee!

    Major smoke out !

    Gots to love it !

    Just finished my first round of getting my old/new wok seasoned, it is the first of many to be done until I am satisfied with the coating. Using lard to do the very smoky deed. Almost got a uniform coating maybe 70% or so but had to let the house air out !

    For the unwashed !

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasoning_%28cookware%29

    Had to open all the windows and doors, Plus turn off the fire loop on my security system, plus removing the batterys from my smoke alarms.

    Fun Fun Fun !

    But worth it !

    Could have done it outside on my crayfish/turkey fryer burner, but did not want to waste the propane, since natural gas is cheaper and what the hay, my stove gives me a bit more control.

    Anyway that is my excuse !

    This job will take several days since I am in no real hurry at this point, I do have a good start in the main heating area, now just working on the sides for this initial coating.

    It will take time to really make a uniform black seasoning coating bottom to rim all around with no ripples/splotches or visible break. And achieve the baby ass uniform smoothness I am looking for!

    Later today will do some fried lice with eggs and some chopped up steak/tomatoes/green onion with ? to be decided! With a soy/Thai fish sauce mix with a few other spices and hot peppers combo for my meal of the day later.

    The Thais made a fast dish that we called cow pot, (sounds nasty doesn't it ) that was great! Several kinds, beef, chicken, shrimp, and pork , come to mind, but not all of them. I kick my ass in a way because I used to do a fair job duplicating all of them here, but time and not writing anything down sorta pisses me off but with the net and with the fun of relearning as I go that is not a problem..All good eating I you like Asian style fried rice dishes.

    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=thai+cow+pot

    Anyone that buys good used cast iron and carbon steel cookware and scrubs the cooking surface down to bare metal needs to be shot or shunned forever + a week if they think the black coating inside those pans is nasty, they are just showing their ignorance! Which can be cured, stupid tho can not be! Which reminds me of my X !

    Hoot !

    More later..
    "My reading no matter how transient is a dagger in the heart of ignorance."

  6. #6
    Unobtanium Dogman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    13,674
    Thanks
    2,443
    Thanked 2,080 Times in 1,611 Posts

    Re: Woks

    Speaking of fish sauce!

    Anyone here uses it ?

    We are what we eat!

    When I first set foot overseas, the first thing I noticed is the people smelled different, and also have we westerners smelled different to them in Asia.

    It took me a while to figure it out that it was because of the different diets people/regions have.

    And I suspect fish sauce has a hand in the way most Asian people smell to us westerners. I went mostly native while in country and figured if they can eat it I can also, (was a major learning experience) with a very few exceptions. Fish sauce was part of everything I ate and in time maybe because of smell memory and we (humans) can odor adapt to the point that odors at first noticed in time are not anymore.

    Anyone go to a open Asian market will know what I mean ! (Will make your nose melt and eyeballs glaze) ! That after being in country a tad I never noticed while shopping for the days food, (refrigeration was not big there, ingredients were bought daily if perishable)

    But the real clue is when I came back to the states, my family at first commented that I smelt different, not in a bad way but different for a month or two. I am sure it was the diet I had while overseas.

    Just a side note, and memory's finding and dragging my old wok back into my dietary use, and the dishes that I used to really like.

    Going to see where I can find a Asian store in my local area, for finding spices and such.
    "My reading no matter how transient is a dagger in the heart of ignorance."

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to Dogman For This Useful Post:

    Celtic Rogue (15th September 2015)

  8. #7
    Unobtanium Shami-Amourae's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    14,020
    Thanks
    3,062
    Thanked 7,408 Times in 4,201 Posts

    Re: Woks

    I've cooked under some Vietnamese chefs before back in my culinary days. I lived and worked around Little Saigon in California so was exposed to a lot of it and it heavily influenced my cooking.

    I use woks a ton, though my favorite style of cooking is French.

    The good thing about Vietnamese cooking is they use a lot of French ingredients in their cooking, but have their own twist, which I like (they use baguettes a lot for instance.)




    As for fish sauce the standard that most people use is Tiparos. Even at high end restaurants I cooked at we used that, though one of my Vietnamese chefs used this one squid based fish sauces in his "special" dishes. The flavor wasn't as neutral as Tiparos though so it couldn't be used for as much.

    Another one of my Vietnamese chefs told stories about how when her parents came to visit the States (maybe 20-30 years ago,) they would bring a suitcase just for fish sauces since the fish sauces we had in America were crap. The Vietnamese and Thai people regard fish sauces like fine wine basically.

    The thing with fish sauces is you pair them with different foods since they have their own characteristics. The safest bet is to just go with Tiparos though since it's the most neutral and affordable out of all of them.

    If you want a higher quality one that's fairly neutral still I'd go with Red Boat, but again, the best fish sauce is the one that best pairs with the food you're making. Unless you're an expert Vietnamese/Thai chef, I wouldn't adventure into this since it's very sophisticated, even for me still, and I cook with these people for years.

  9. #8
    Unobtanium Shami-Amourae's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    14,020
    Thanks
    3,062
    Thanked 7,408 Times in 4,201 Posts

    Re: Woks

    I've used the same wok for like 15 years now. I got it when I was young and experimenting with food and still use it. Basically I just cook with lard in it a lot and burn the living hell out of it. It has a thick crust on the bottom.

    I do a lot of wok cooking and do all my deep frying in my wok unless its like potato tacos or something, then I do it in a cast iron skillet.

  10. #9
    Unobtanium Dogman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    13,674
    Thanks
    2,443
    Thanked 2,080 Times in 1,611 Posts
    I will agree with you abt store fish sauce in most stores here!

    They are crap!

    While in country I went native when not on the job (12 hour 7 day week) and lived off base! Was there more than one year unlike the standard 12 months! Got Fair with the language and reading it!

    Learned watching my assorted telocks preparing and cooking our meals, plus watching and asking questions to other cooks when I could! Then cooking and using what I learned while still in country (Thailand, but with a very strong Laotian/Cambodia/Vietnam twist with a major overtone of Indian (depending) )

    Street food with major home cooking. And regional blends, that all used fish sauce/rice as a base! One of my gal's was from Chang mi and her bent was Thai/Burmese and heavy southern china, dishes that were everyday staple's!

    I imagine most of what you learned was the high end eats that 99% of normal people in county could not afford!

    Soy sauce and fish sauce plus rice and Asian style cooking with my own twists is soon to be a major part of my diet after many many years again. Because it is tasty/filling/in general healthy and very affordable!

    Finding a good fish sauce locally it seems will be a problem here, unless I travel 70 or so miles to a real Asian market, or amazon buy it!

    Sent from my Nexus 7
    "My reading no matter how transient is a dagger in the heart of ignorance."

  11. #10
    Unobtanium Dogman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    13,674
    Thanks
    2,443
    Thanked 2,080 Times in 1,611 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Shami-Amourae View Post
    I've used the same wok for like 15 years now. I got it when I was young and experimenting with food and still use it. Basically I just cook with lard in it a lot and burn the living hell out of it. It has a thick crust on the bottom.

    I do a lot of wok cooking and do all my deep frying in my wok unless its like potato tacos or something, then I do it in a cast iron skillet.
    Lard is my basic fat for cooking!

    Depending on what I am cooking, but it is always my fall back.

    Seems you do understand what I mean about seasoning, I never scrub the outside nor as stated the insides of my pans!

    High heat is a very good friend in keeping everything healthy and flavorful!

    And people wonder why with some dishes they can taste have metallic overtones when they scrub down to bare metal all of their frying and baking cookware?

    Boiling is a different color cat because the temperatures are much lower, so metal leaching is not much of a hazard, that is why a good seasoning is so important to develop for higher temp cooking because of the carbonized barrier (seasoning) prevents that along with sticking that food will do with bare metal cooking.
    (If not deep frying, which has its place with some foods, but not so healthy, ((maybe) depending on the oil used)

    Wok/cast iron cooking high acid foods, can be done but it does try to remove the seasoning from the pan be it a wok or cast iron surface, the trick is to have a thick seasoning coating to began with and then later make a point to thicken up the seasoning coating on that pan/wok.

    Easy pleasy, as long as one keeps on top of what is going on.

    Imagen that !

    Side note:

    For several years now I do not use aluminum in any thing cooking because of the hazard of leaching, tho there is a set that my grandparents have used for years and both of them made it into their 80's. Not sure if it was age or the aluminum cookware, they used for years (still have the set and used it myself for years) but easy to see the pitting on the inside, were it leached into the food.

    Stainless, I thought at one time, was the answer, but not not so sure anymore, because of the chromium used to make it.

    Boiling probably not a problem, but at high heat, I think the chances of it leaching chrome into the food is high and that at this point of my life is not worth the worry.

    If you burn a stainless steel cooking what ever pot or pan, ever notice it will rust?

    The reason is the chrome has been totally burnt off, so if it can do it at extreme high heat, what happens at frying temps?

    Going back to carbon steel and ignoring any aluminum or stainless stuff, tho will use stainless for boiling. The aluminum is retired forever here, and only kept around for memory tokens and reminders of past meals shared with long gone family.

    Cast or carbon steel , overall methinks is more healthy in my current thinking and logic.
    "My reading no matter how transient is a dagger in the heart of ignorance."

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •