Today’s cooking still uses many traditional utensils and techniques that have become popular worldwide. One among them is the use of a wok. They are also called a saucepan, skillet or casserole. With its high heat and fast cooking times, skillet cooking is a great way to quickly prepare delicious and healthy meals. If you’re new to cooking in this Chinese pan, here are ten tips.
Choose the Right Saucepan
The first step to successful skillet cooking is choosing the suitable skillet. Traditional ones are made of carbon steel and are ideal for high-heat cooking. However, they are also made of stainless steel, cast iron, and other materials. Choose the one that suits your cooking style and the type of stove you have.
Preheating your saucepan is essential for proper cooking. Heat it over high heat until it starts to smoke. It will help prevent food from sticking to the base and ensure that your food cooks quickly and evenly. Preheating also allows you to achieve the coveted smoky and charred flavour of this pan’s cooking.
Use the Right Oil
Choosing the right oil for your skillet cooking is essential. Use oils with a high smoke point, such as peanut or vegetable oil. Avoid olive oil, which has a low smoke point and can burn quickly. When heating the oil, ensure it’s hot enough to create a slight shimmer on the surface before adding your ingredients for optimal cooking results.
Cut Ingredients Evenly
Cutting your ingredients evenly is essential for even cooking. Cut your vegetables and meats into uniform pieces to cook at the same rate. It will ensure that your food cooks evenly and is not overcooked or undercooked. Additionally, using a sharp knife will make cutting more accessible and efficient, resulting in cleaner cuts and reducing the risk of injury.
Stir-Fry in Batches
Stir-frying in batches is essential for successful cooking in this pan. Overcrowding can cause your food to steam rather than stir-fry, resulting in soggy and unappetising dishes. Cook in small batches, allowing each ingredient to cook evenly before adding the next. Remember to heat it between each set and add fresh oil as needed to prevent sticking and ensure the temperature stays consistent.
Add Ingredients in the Right Order
Adding your ingredients in the correct order is essential for proper saucepan cooking. Start with ingredients that take longer, such as meat and vegetables, and add elements that cook quickly, such as leafy greens and herbs, at the end.
Use the Right Seasonings
Using the right seasonings is essential for creating delicious dishes. Traditional Chinese herbs include soy sauce, oyster sauce, and hoisin sauce. Experiment with different seasonings to find the flavours that you like best.
Finish with a Cornstarch Slurry
Finishing your dishes with a cornstarch slurry is a common technique in Chinese cooking. This technique involves mixing cornstarch with water and adding it to your casserole dish at the end of cooking. The slurry will thicken your sauce and give it a glossy appearance.
Clean Your Saucepan Properly.
Cleaning your casserole correctly is vital for maintaining its quality and ensuring it lasts for years. After cooking, rinse your pan with hot water and scrub it with a sponge or brush. Dry it thoroughly and season it with oil to prevent rusting.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Practice is essential for mastering casserole cooking. Don’t be discouraged if your first few attempts don’t turn out as you hoped. Keep practising, experimenting with different ingredients and techniques, and you’ll soon become a cooking pro.
Wok cooking is a fun and healthy way to prepare delicious meals at home. Following the above tips, you can create restaurant-quality dishes in your kitchen.