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Wokking tonight for the first time - pointers?

EggtuaryEggtuary Posts: 400
edited 9:39AM in EggHead Forum
As the subject line says, I'm doing my first wok cook tonight. Sandbagger was nice enough to hook me up with one of his wok rings and a basic wok at Eggtoberfest.[p]I'm doing a really simple recipe using Bone Suckin' Yaki, thin slices of chicken breast, bean sprouts, onion, water chestnuts, broccoli, and some spices. The recipe is from the Bone Suckin' Sauce website, and the directions are for cooking in a saute pan over medium heat. Obviously I'm going to want to cut the cooking times drastically when doing this recipe in the wok.[p]So, how hot do I get the Wok? And how will I know when it's hot enough if I'm cooking with the lid open? Do I warm the wok with the Egg open, or do I only open it for the cook time itself?[p]The recipe suggests browning the chicken in 2 tbsp of olive oil, along with the onion. Then it says to add the bean sprouts and water chestnuts, allow to simmer for several minutes, then add broccoli and simmer a while longer. So, should I follow this same basic order for adding the ingredients, and just realize that the cooking times will be far shorter?[p]Thanks in advance!


  • Eggtuary,
    The secret to good wok cooking in my experience is not to overcook the veggies. I would brown the chicken 2-3 minutes first, then throw in the veggies. Most of the veggies you are cooking can be eaten raw anyway, so I only cook mine at high heat for about 1 - 2 minutes, then remove from heat. I never cover them and simmer them, as they tend to get limp and soggy - I like mine hot but crisp.
    Sprinkle a few sesame seeds on them at the end for a nice taste.

  • Eggtuary, check out the link. This should get you started in the right direction. Just a recommendation, cooking in the wok is like cooking bbq, don't expect to knock your socks off the first time. Just practice, take some simple notes, get in a routine and start with your favorite dishes. You'll get the hang of it in no time. [p]Build the fire as if you wanted the dome temp to maintain about 500+ degrees: a good steak fire is about right. Set the lower vent so the fire maintains the temp. [p]One thing that I always fight in wok cooking is size. I always think bigger it better. Not so in wok cooking, smaller is truly better: small cooking portions and small food size portions. [p]Did you season the wok, I am not sure I mentioned that between beers! If not, try a quick seasoning before cooking, or after. I do this trick all the time with I need to season stuff. I cook, shut the egg down, go inside and eat, then come out after dinner, spray the piece with Pam, drop it on the spider, close the dome and head back inside. I just make sure the egg is below 375 when I drop in the piece. [p]Good luck, Tom

  • Sandbagger,
    how do i get a "spider" for my medium egg?
    i have two woks (large and small) and i really need to put them on the egg...
    why? because i am obsessed![p]Thanks

  • Eggtuary,
    I do the chicken seperate. I stir fry the meat first and put in a seperate dish. I than cook the veggies until they become tender. Next I add back the chicken and whatever sauce that is called for. Some veggies have a high water content and they tend to sweat and steam the veggies rather than stir frying. put your wok on until it starts smoking, than add oil to the wok. I use peanut oil because it can deal with the higher temps than veg oil. Always add oil to the HOT wok. This keeps the meat from sticking to the wok. Hope this helps.[p]Andres

  • Rick's Tropical Delight, email me and I need you woks' diameter. T

  • EggtuaryEggtuary Posts: 400
    Thanks for the tip. This is what I ended up doing last night, except I used sesame oil. Would peanut oil do an even better job?

  • EggtuaryEggtuary Posts: 400
    This was really helpful advice. My wife needed the computer last night, so I didn't see the link until I had already messed up some of the stuff I was cooking. [p]I'm encouraged, though. For my first effort, it wasn't bad at all. I particularly appreciate your comment that it's like BBQ, and that I won't get it right the first time. When I passed this comment along to my wife, I think it really made sense to her, because she definitely thinks my current BBQ is a lot better than my first tries![p]Thanks again,

  • Eggtuary,
    I think peanut oil is better suited for stir-frying than sesame oil. I use the sesame oil for flavoring because it sometimes can overwhelm the food. i am not sure if the sesame oil can withstand the high tempertures required for stir-fries. most of the stuff i've seen, calls for peanut oil. if you are into to wokking, i recommend a book titled "Breath of a Wok." Very useful book on traditional chinese wok making, seasoning, maitenance, and cooking.[p]Andres

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