Jeremy Pang of award-winning London cookery school, School of Wok, shares the simple steps to ensuring a healthy stir-fry every time
We’ve all had one. A sad, rusty wok that lived under the kitchen sink. But treat a wok right – with an initial seasoning and a proper clean after using – and a carbon-steel wok should last a lifetime. Choose a flat-bottomed wok, as this style works on all hobs.
Seasoning a wok creates a natural non-stick layer, says Jeremy. After that you’ll only need a scant amount of oil for stir-frying. Once the wok is hot, add a teaspoon of vegetable oil around the top rim of the wok, then watch it run down the sides to coat.
How to season a carbon-steel wok
1. On first use, scrub the wok with a metal scourer.
2. Heat over a high heat until the inside goes a dark grey-blue colour all the way round.
3. Let it cool.
4. Dip a thick pad of kitchen towel in a little vegetable oil.
5. Polish the inside of the wok by rubbing it with the oiled towel in a circular motion.
6. Heat the wok on a high heat until it starts to smoke. Once the smoke disappears and the wok is dark grey/black in colour it is ready to use.
How to clean
1. Half-fill your wok with hot water and place it over a high heat.
2. Boil vigorously and de-glaze.
3. Clean the wok through with hot water and a sponge using a little detergent only if necessary.
4. Dry the wok on the hob over a high heat until the water has evaporated.