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Hijiki Tofu Burgers, French Fries and a New Wok! February 8, 2006

Posted by merp in Food.

Aaron cooked last night. Another Moosewood Restaurant New Classics burger–egg added, therefore remained a burger. **Very** good. Served with avocado-wasabi mayo. And he said they were very easy. Baked, not fried.

To balance out such extreme healthiness, we also had genuine french fries, deep-fried in our new carbon steel wok. My most reliable Chinese cookbook–From the Earth: Chinese Vegetarian Cooking by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo–recommends carbon steel over all other kinds of woks, and having used quite a few myself, I completely agree.

Electric woks are obviously out of the question–they never get hot enough. Wok cooking must be hot and fast. Teflon-coated woks are also a problem, for a number of reasons: they are too thick to heat up hot; teflon really shouldn’t be used at super-hot temps; the usage of oil (hot, therefore not soaking your food in grease) is thrown off by the coating; they are fragile and you can never find the non-metal utensil at the last minute as you are cooking hot & fast; inevitably, you ruin the coating eventually. At least, we do. We each came to the household with one, now we have 0 that are safe to use. I know, certain very neat people will not understand why this is an inevitability; know your weaknesses, say I.

Carbon steel heats up quickly, and once it is seasoned (like a cast-iron skillet), will develop its own non-stick coating. It’s very lightweight, so you can heft a large one without spraining your wrist. And cheap! Only $16 at the Korean grocery, probably cheaper at a Chinese store.

It is very satisfying to own a proper wok at last.

Anyhow, the french fries were in order to move the wok-seasoning process along. They came out perfectly.



1. vanessa - February 9, 2006

how does it compare to cast iron?

2. merp - February 23, 2006

Forgot to answer this…. Well mainly, can you lift a cast iron wok with one hand? I often find I want to do this.

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