How did the people cook before the oil

Cooking with the WOK

Stir frying is what you call typical wok cooking. (Photo by: shalamov / Depositphotos)

Cooking in a wok isn't just a fad. The wok is a real all-rounder, with which the ingredients can be prepared gently. Apart from that, it is perfect for quick, fresh and healthy cooking.

A wok is one special type of panwhich is mainly at home in Asia. It only has a very small base and is curved very high, so that the surface on which the food is to be cooked is round. There is a handle on both sides so that you can swivel and hold the wok easily.

The Advantage of a wok lies in the fact that the heat is mainly concentrated in the middle. This means that food that no longer needs heat can be pushed up in favor of other components of the dish.

The wok is suitable for numerous different cooking methods, for example:

  • roast meat
  • Steaming
  • Steaming or
  • Deep-frying

Choosing a wok

There are woks in different materials - Woks made from:

  • aluminum
  • stainless steel
  • Sheet steel
  • cast iron

The size should best be based on how many people are to be cooked with. A wok with a diameter of 30 cm is quickly too small if you want to cook for four or more people.

In Asia, the kitchens are usually with one special fireplace equipped with which completely round woks can be used. Since this is hardly the case in this country, there are many wok models in which the center is flattened so that the wok can be operated on a conventional stove.

The main cooking methods

The wok can be used for frying, steaming, braising and deep-frying. (Photo by: tonodiaz / Depositphotos)

roast meat

To fry with the wok, the so-called "Stir-fry" method used. This means that the ingredients are fried in the wok. They don't stay there, but are seared while stirring constantly. This way nothing can burn and everything is fried evenly.

For this to work, all ingredients should already be cut and prepared. Stirring the pan is only successful if the oil is really hot - it has to be heated to just before the smoke point. This is easy to try by squirting a tiny bit of water into the wok; the water must form small water pearls.


If the Ingredients braised are to be seared first. Then liquid is poured on and the vegetables or meat stewed.

The duration varies depending on the ingredients in the dish. Spices should only be added at the end. Since the amount of liquid changes over time, the spices may suddenly taste more intense than originally planned.


The steaming is a very gentle preparation method, in which all vitamins and nutrients are retained in vegetables. Vegetables are not boiled out, they are cooked and remain crisp at the same time.

To do this, water is brought to the boil in the wok. The vegetables are placed on a sieve insert that is attached to the edge of the wok and steamed in hot water.


For deep-frying it is in the wok Oil at one temperature heated by around 170 degrees. The fried food, for example vegetables, pieces of meat or seafood, are simply placed in the oil and baked until they are golden yellow.

The ingredients

The right oil is also important when cooking with the wok. (Photo by: halamov / Depositphotos)

If you want to cook with a wok, the most important ingredient is one good oil. What is needed is an oil that can be heated to a high temperature and, above all, is tasteless. This is the case with coconut oil and clarified butter, for example.

Not suitable are most of them virgin oilsas they release toxins when heated too much. Sesame oil, peanut oil or olive oil is not recommended for frying, as these can give the food a bitter taste if heated too high.

Most suitable Sunflower oil or conventional Vegetable oil.

With regard to the other ingredients, there are basically no limits to the imagination. Typical Asian vegetables are:

  • Chinese cabbage
  • spring onions
  • Bok Choy

But most of them are also suitable domestic vegetables for cooking with the wok.

Rice, pasta, mushrooms, meat, fish, seafood and much more make the wok kitchen one of the most varied fields of all.

Recipes for the wok

Here are some selected recipes that can be cooked with the wok:

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