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.

You can buy School of Wok Carbon Steel Woks (£14.99–£24.99) from Lakeland, as well as Jeremy’s fabulous cook book, Chinese Unchopped (£20, Quadrille).

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