Wok This Way

By: Kirsten Vala
Related To:
Wok

Stir-frying is cooking small bits of meat and veggies over high heat for a short amount of time and, since it doesn’t require much fat or oil, it’s a good healthy-cooking technique to pick up. Sure, you can stir fry in a regular frying pan or even in a pot, but a wok can turn any ho-hum weeknight dinnertime into a dramatic, choreographed stir-frying event.

The Wok

Ching uses a wok to make many of her recipes in Chinese Food Made Easy and there are two main types that she recommends: cast iron and carbon steel. Cast iron is most traditional for Chinese cooking, but it’s heavy. Carbon steel is more lightweight and easier to swirl. Ching uses a round-bottomed carbon steel pan in her show, with a wok stand to hold the wok steady over the burners, but you can also get flat-bottomed pans that sit flush on the burners. It’s best to avoid non-stick woks, since you cook at such a high heat, and also electric woks which won’t get hot enough for traditional stir-frying.

Stir-Fry Like a Pro

Prepare all ingredients in advance so they can quickly be added to the pan when ready. Cut all veggies into uniform sizes and add longer-cooking veggies to the wok first. Use oil with a high smoke point, like peanut oil or vegetable oil. Add food to the wok in this order: Aromatics (garlic, ginger, chiles, etc.) meat, then vegetables. Some recipes call for cooking the meat first and then setting it aside while you cook the veggies. As a last step, throw in a simple sauce made with a combination of Asian ingredients like soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil.

Start with a few easy recipes, and then let your imagination (and your refrigerator) be your guide. Once you get the techniques down and have a few simple sauces in mind, you’ll be cooking up stir-fry’s everyday with no recipes in sight.

See Ching's cooking with a wok how-to and get her tips.

Recipes to Get You Started
Ching's Fragrant Pork

13791 C3

Fragrant pork is served with Chinese cabbage and minced pork over a bowl of white rice.

Stir-Fried Vegetable Wraps
Chicken Chow Mein
Spicy Beef Stir-Fry

FNM020109WN002.PSD

Spicy Beef Stir-Fry from Food Network Magazine
Shrimp Stir-Fry with Fried Egg and Flavored Vinegar

404 C1

Shrimp stir fry with egg noodles, spinach, and green onion topped with a fried egg.

Next Up

9 Ways to Eat More Greens

Here are some ideas for working greens into breakfasts, lunches, dinners and, yes, even snacks!

7 No-Sweat Ways to Burn Calories

These easy, everyday activities burn 100 calories, so why not add them into your routine?

DIY Greek Yogurt

This year, make a new year's resolution you can keep all year long: Eat more Greek yogurt! It's thick, creamy and tart, high in protein and super-versatile. Here's how to make your own, plus tons of ways to use it.

Cookbook Giveaway: Simple Asian Meals

Try a few recipes from the new cookbook, Simple Asian Meals: Irresistibly Satisfying and Healthy Dishes for the Busy Cook.

Try Meatless Monday with Kelsey's Garden Vegetable Frittata

We're celebrating Meatless Monday, a movement designed to eat less meat for health and environmental reasons. This week: Kelsey Nixon's Garden Vegetable Frittata.

Kale Recipes So You Don't Die

Kale's high in calcium and potassium, plus vitamins K, A and C — all great vitamins to ward off the winter bugs.

Health Benefits of Pumpkin

Pumpkins are healthier than you might think. Cooking Channel shares why they are surprisingly nutritous.

Dinner Rush! Grilled Garden Vegetable Pizza

Cooking Channel's healthy grilled veggie pizza recipe is quick, easy and a great way not to use your hot oven in the summer.

On TV

Food Obsessed

7:30am | 6:30c

Food Obsessed

8:30am | 7:30c

Food Obsessed

9:30am | 8:30c

Man v. Food

10am | 9c

Man v. Food

10:30am | 9:30c

Man v. Food

11am | 10c

Man v. Food

11:30am | 10:30c

Burgers, Brew & 'Que

6:30pm | 5:30c

Burgers, Brew & 'Que

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Man Fire Food

8pm | 7c

Man Fire Food

8:30pm | 7:30c

Man Fire Food

9:30pm | 8:30c

Man Fire Food

12am | 11c

Man Fire Food

12:30am | 11:30c

Man Fire Food

1am | 12c

Man Fire Food

1:30am | 12:30c
What's Hot
What's Hot

The Best Thing I Ever Ate

New Episodes Mondays 9|8c

So Much Pretty Food Here