Fast, easy, fresh and delicious meals can be had in mere minutes when using a wok for cooking. This centuries-old method of stir-frying meats, fish, poultry and veggies can be a healthy way to cook if you limit the amount of sodium, fat and oil.
Woks for flame heat come shaped like a large, shallow bowl and use medium-high heat to cook any food evenly and quickly. Flat-bottomed woks are also available for electric stoves and do the job just as well.
One reason woks are so popular for healthy cooking is that nutrient-rich vegetables can be cooked to perfection and make a nice accompaniment to the meats that are also stir-fried in the wok.
Preparing food and cooking in a wok is done in tried and true steps. First, you’ll chop or slice the meat and vegetables and then set the wok to medium-high heat. When the surface of the wok is hot, add oil or broth (broth is a good way to cut the fat when you’re cooking), swirl around to coat the wok and then add the seasonings such as onion, garlic and ginger.
Immediately add the meat, fish or poultry and toss around to sear in the juices. The veggies are last. Add them in order of the most dense and toughest to cook first – then the others.
Toss in some nuts (such as pine nuts) for extra crunch and flavor. In a few minutes, you’ll have a great meal, perfect for serving over jasmine or brown rice. Meat-free meals with lots of veggies and a variety of seasonings can be a week day meal that the entire family looks forward to.
You’ll feel like a certified chef when cooking with a wok and your meals will taste like it, too. There are a multitude of recipes online from which you can choose and just as many choices for the type of wok which will suit you best.
There are electric woks that come with features such as high domed lids, rapid heat and temperature control, nonstick coatings and cool-to-the-touch base and handles. Some even come with reversible burner rings, chopsticks, turner, ladle, tempura racks and recipe books.
Stir-frying is a healthy option to cooking with heavy sauces or frying in oil for extra calories. You can actually use any pan to stir-fry meats and vegetables, but a wok ensures that your food is cooked evenly.
Woks are great additions to your kitchen arsenal of cookware and come in a variety of types and prices. Check out online sales and try your hand at cooking with a wok to make meals quickly and healthier than ever.