Want to enjoy tantalizing taste of Asian food at home? Invest in a wok! Stir-frying is one of easiest ways to create a delicious, healthy dinner in minutes. Learn to prepare meals Asian way: light on meat, heavy on vegetables, and quick-cooked on high heat to retain vitamins and flavors. A few basics is all you need to get cooking!
Purchase your wok. You don't need to spend hundreds of dollars on state-of-the-art cookware. A standard, stainless-steel wok, purchased for less than $50, will serve its purpose well. The heavier wok, better it will retain heat. This is important because you must cook at a high temperature to avoid stewing or steaming your ingredients.
Season your wok. Before you use your wok for first time, you must season it. Seasoning wok is a way to "break it in" to ensure even heat-distribution during stir-frying, and helps lock in flavors of food as it's cooking. When you remove your wok from its packaging, you may notice a greasy film on surface. Wipe this film away, and wash your wok in warm, soapy water. To season your wok, put it on stove over medium-high heat for a few minutes. Add a drop or two of oil, and swirl it around to coat surface evenly. Remove from stovetop to let cool for a bit, and then use a paper towel to wipe out oily residue. You may want to season your wok once more before you begin cooking with it.
Gather your utensils. Professional chefs use a mesh ladel to toss meat and vegetables around in wok, but if you don't have one of these, a wooden spoon will do just fine. Place several large, clean bowls and plates on counter next to your wok so you can set your cooked items aside as you prepare them in batches. Other items you'll need: a chef's knife, cutting board, and several bowls of different sizes to store liquid mixtures and chopped herbs and vegetables.
Cut and dry food prep. The most time-consuming part of stir-frying is preparing ingredients. You'll want everything portioned out and cleaned, chopped, sliced and diced in advance. The actual stir-frying is fast and furious (you've probably heard those pans rattling like mad while waiting for your Chinese takeout!) so meat, vegetables, noodles, spices and oils should be ready and within reaching distance so you can grab and get on with it. Chop everything into bite-sized chunks to ensure quick and thorough cooking. Make sure there's no extra water or other liquid in your wok while stir-frying meat and vegetables. As mentioned earlier, liquid in wok will cause your meal to stew instead of lightly fry.