The wok is one of the most versatile cooking equipment ever invented. Chinese have been using it not only for stir frying but also for deep frying, steaming, indoor smoking, and in the case of Mei wok, for baking breads and making flat breads as well.
The best part about a wok is its even distribution of heat, that makes cooking, stewing and baking perfect.
Therefore, you can cook almost any western dish in the Mei wok, just remember not to use the wooden cover when putting the wok into the oven when making a stew.
Choosing the Right Wok
Once you’ve come to the decision to add a wok to your kitchen arsenal, you’ll want to shop around to find the right one for you. Woks come in all shapes and sizes but traditionally, woks were heavy giants- round-bottomed and made of iron to be used with traditional Chinese wood stoves. Today woks are made from iron, carbon steel, aluminium, copper, stainless steel, each with their own advantages and disadvantages, but find one that works best in your kitchen.
Besides type of metal, there have been several other innovative changes that made the wok more compatible with modern ranges. The traditional round-bottomed wok works great with a gas stove! However, for usage with electric and conduction range, you would need a wok ring (or wok collar) or run the risk of damaging your range.
Although wok rings allow even balance over the heat source, using a round-bottomed wok with a wok ring on electric or conduction stovetops has the disadvantage of no direct contact with the heat source. Your best option if your kitchen has an electric or conduction range is a flat-bottomed wok.
What can I cook in a wok?
Regardless of heat source, meat, chicken, vegetables and fish cook tremendously quickly with little oil- all while the curved sides and large surface area keep the food moving and prevent burning. Woks are also especially great for flash frying meat before braising- another commonly used Chinese technique. This bowl-shaped apparatus can also be used to deep-fry wontons or spring rolls. Not to mention braising ducks or spare ribs. If it comes with a lid, woks can also be used to steam whole fish or dumplings. Woks with handles that are heat-resistant can even be used for baking cakes! The possibilities with the wok are endless.