The Wok: practical, but not compulsory
Updated: Feb 13, 2020
The wok is a wide pan with a strongly curved base. The first woks were made by Chinese people about 2000 years ago and proved to be so practical that the appliance quickly became popular throughout South East Asia. With the international spread of Chinese cuisine, the wok also gained more and more followers in the West.
The wok can be used to fry, blanch, deep-fry and steam while stirring at the same time. Its curved shape allows energy-saving, fast and even heating and cooking. The high side walls prevent ingredients from being stirred beyond the rim. Frying requires less oil: it is sufficient to bring the ingredients to the centre of the pan, where the heat is greatest.
There are two types of wok: the traditional Cantonese shape with two opposite handle-shaped handles, and the Beijing wok, which has a handle over 30 centimetres long. The long handle keeps the wok at a safe distance from hot oil or water.