Woks Are for More Than Stir-Frying

You may feel hesitant about getting a wok because you don't stir-fry all the time, or you think a wok won't work well on your run-of-the-mill stove, but wok-savvy Chowhounds insist that this is an incredibly versatile pan. "I use my wok for everything: stir-frying, deep-frying, steaming, boiling," says raytamsgv. "I've used it to make spaghetti sauce, eggs, soups, steamed seafood, steamed Chinese dumplings, etc." "I use my wok often for quick and easy pasta dishes. The wok is perfect for tossing pasta with a finished sauce," says LiveRock. Woks are also great for popping popcorn.

You can buy a steamer rack for your wok for just a few dollars, notes raytamsgv, or you can improvise by laying four chopsticks in a tic-tac-toe grid pattern in the bottom of your wok and placing a plate or bowl on them for steaming food. If you use your wok to deep-fry or boil food, raytamsgv also recommends a mesh skimmer, which will allow you to take the items out of the wok and drain the liquid or oil at the same time.

Hounds highly recommend the Wok Shop as a source for woks and accessories, and say that its proprietor is extremely helpful in determining the best wok and utensils for your needs and stove, both in person and by phone, without ever pushing you to buy.

Ready to get started? Check out this video CHOW Tip on how to season a wok.

Discuss: WOK & WHAT ELSE??

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