Making the Most of your BergHOFF Wok
Woks have been a central feature of East Asian cooking for possibly 2000 years. They are the principle piece of cookware used for almost all techniques in Chinese cookery. While woks are often thought to have been introduced to the UK by celebrity chef Ken Hom, they have been used by people of East Asian descent in kitchens and restaurants for as long as there has been East Asian cooking in the UK. Using a wok properly takes a small amount of knowledge, and a larger amount of practice. Therefore, how can you make the most of your BergHOFF Wok?
What is a Wok?
A wok is a deep cooking pot that is used on the stove. A traditional East Asian wok will usually have a rounded bottom, but a European wok often has a squared-off, flat bottom. This is due to the difference in traditional heat sources. A round bottom wok needs a wok ring to stay upright, and is generally used over a flame. This can either be gas or wood powered. A flat-bottomed wok will stay stable on an electric, gas or even induction hob.
How to Prepare and Use a Wok Properly
You may have heard that there is a very specific way of using a wok. This is partially true, but not anything you need to be worried about. A traditional wok requires some preparation before use. This is called ‘seasoning’. Seasoning is a process of spreading oil around the wok. This prepares and maintains the wok at a consistent level. However, a BergHOFF wok doesn’t need to be seasoned. It is ready to use from the moment you buy it.
You might be familiar with Wok cooking from your local Chinese restaurant, and think that you need the sort of gas hob that sounds like it came from a jet engine. However, this isn’t at all true. While it is true that you need to use a high heat, most types of hobs can reach a sufficient temperature. The key to making the most of your BergHOFF wok is timing. Don’t put everything in at the same time. A wok should be hot enough that items cook quickly. That means that if you put all of your ingredients in at the same time, some will be overdone and some under by the time you want to serve up.
Don’t be afraid to take items out of the wok. If you want to cook meat and vegetables, consider starting the meat first, largely cooking it, and removing it from the heat before you start your vegetables. Then, when the vegetables are done, add the meat back in to get back up to temperature. This way, your veg stay crispy and your meat doesn’t get over done.
Alternative Ways to Use BergHOFF Woks
What sets BergHOFF woks aside from their traditional cousins is their versatility. You don’t have to use one to make East Asian inspired food. Instead, you can use your BergHOFF wok in the oven to turn your non-stick wok into a tagine to make North African recipes – it is fine to leave the stainless steel lid on for the oven but if using the BergHOFF Eurocast Stir Fry Wok simply remove the handle for oven use. If what you fancy is something a little closer to home, you can even use the wok and lid as a roaster for meat or vegetables.
Mapo Doufu (Pockmarked Old Woman’s Tofu) Recipe
500g Plain Tofu
4 Baby leeks or Spring Onions
4 tbsp Cooking Oil
2 ½ tbsp Sichuan chilli bean paste
1 tbsp fermented black beans – rinsed and drained
2 tsp ground red chillies
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
¼ tsp white pepper
2 tsp potato flour
½ tsp ground sichuan pepper
Cut the tofu into cubes, and steep it in very hot but not boiling water.
Heat your BergHOFF non-stick wok over a high flame, and swirl around the cooking oil. Reduce the heat to medium, and stir fry the chilli bean paste until fragrant. Add the black beans and ground chilis for a few seconds, until fragrant. Then, fry the ginger and garlic for a few moments. It is important not to overdo the frying – don’t burn any of the seasonings.
Remove the tofu from the hot water gently, with a perforated spoon. Add to the seasonings in the wok, and gently coat the tofu – taking care not to break it up. Add the water, salt and pepper and mix.
Bring to a boil, and then simmer until the tofu absorbs the flavours. Add the leeks or spring onions to the sauce. Add the potato flour to thicken the sauce, stirring gently. Add the flour sparingly until the sauce is thick enough to cling to the tofu.
Serve and sprinkle with the remaining ground roasted Sichuan red chillies.
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