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Kitchen Gadget: Wok

Food By Wambui Kuria
Woks originate from China and have become a favourite of cooks worldwide (Photo: Courtesy)

A wok is a bowl-shaped cooking vessel originally from China. I was introduced to it by a friend from Japan. Since then, I have used my wok almost every day.

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You might ask why a wok and not a frying pan or cooking pot (sufuria)? I don’t have to worry about my food burning while I am cooking because the heat is evenly distributed.

I like to use my wok for one pot meals, stir fries (which I do a lot of), popping popcorn, making stews and when steaming or searing. I even use it for boiling. The only thing I do not use it for is baking.

A traditional wok can withstand high heat making it ideal for a stir fry (Photo: Courtesy)

Avoid buying a non-stick wok. Most non-stick coatings cannot withstand the high heat necessary for proper stir frying. They start vaporising and releasing noxious fumes long before they reach the requisite temperature. Double gauge is what to look for.

Better still, carbon steel material is the best material. It is inexpensive and durable, and its high responsiveness to heat makes it my number one option. Well cared for, the carbon steel material ends up with a practically non-stick surface.

Most shops that sell kitchenware sell woks. Also find them on Amazon.com and Aliexpress.com. A good wok will set you back Sh. 1,000-6,000 depending on size and quality.

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