For the past several years, I’ve been looking for a non-stick wok. Some had worked well, but they all had one problem in the end. The non-stick coating peels off after a while. Also you cannot run them very hot. My mom had this very old (must be over 15 years old) iron wok that she bought in New York City China town. It is still very solid. Sadly, I’ve been to all of the Asian supermarket around Seattle, and wouldn’t find anything close to hers. So I started to look online. I read lots of posts and comments from Chinese forums, and decided on cast-iron.
Cast-iron’s got several benefits:
it retains heat well which is very handy when stir-fry vegetable
it doesn’t have any coating
it suppose to last a very long time
I found couple options, one was from this Chinese Importer website based in California. Even though from the picture, the woks there would look more like what my mother has, the shipping totally kills it. And the fact that there wasn’t any reviews on the website, I wasn’t sure if I can trust the picture that much without important information like the weight and the handle of the wok.
After much research, I ended up purchase this Lodge Pro-Logic 14-Inch Cast-Iron Wok with Loop Handles from amazon.com $45 with free shipping
The cast-iron wok came pre-seasoned, so that saved some trouble. Or here is a video that I found very informational that teaches you How to Season a Wok
I’ve been using this wok for quiet some time now. It is great. I didn’t realize that before this wok, I actually never stir-fried vegetable. Instead, I was boiling them. I had never been able to make stir-fried shredded potato at home until now.
With this wok, I had to pre-heat it for a while, but once it is heated, it retains the heat very well. Although be careful the loops get very hot as well. The only compliant that I have about it is that it is really heavy, which makes plating a bit hard after stir-frying. Normally I would hold the wok with one hand, and pour the food out, and using a wok utensils in the other hand to sweep the food on to the plate. But with this one it is impossible. Since there is
no way that I could possibly hold it with one hand. Also, cleaning could be tricky. After get the food out, I pour in a cup or two of hot water and scrub with a bamboo wok brush (any stiff, non-nylon kitchen brush or a grill brush would work just as well). Pour out the dirty water, put it back on the heat to boil off any excess moisture, and wipe it with an oiled paper towel and let cool.