Today I broke out my brand new non-stick wok from Ikea.
The first wok I had ended up in the garbage can about two years ago and was only used twice. I never replaced it because I completely lacked the confidence to try woking again. That wok had died a slow horrible death, and I didn’t want to think about it. See. . . the first time I woked, it turned out okay. I seasoned the pan according to the manufacturer’s instructions and I cooked a stir-fry a few days later, and it turned out just fine. I cleaned the wok, once again according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and something went wrong.
The next time I cooked in it, the seasoning must have come off and everything in the pan smoked and burned. I hastily removed the wok from the burner and hot oil leapt out of the pan and onto my arm. I still have the scar. After my shock and anger at the trauma had subsided, I discarded the burned food and let the pan cool before rinsing it in warm water with a light detergent. I thought I might try again, so I carefully dried off the wok and set it on the counter.
My takeout arrived (when you try new things in the kitchen as often as I do, you learn to program a few takeout places into your speed dial). The next night I noticed that there were rust spots in the wok. I must not have dried it completely. Into the garbage can it went. 😦
And then I saw this non-stick wok at Ikea for $5!
Non-stick = no need to season the pan, or burn your veggies, or burn your arm with hot oil while attempting to save said burned veggies.
This evening I was brave enough to use it for stir-fried tofu and veggies. It was like my old wok had come back from the dead, but now it was stronger and it meant business. I liked it.
Heat oil in the wok until hot and smoking. Add tofu.
So far so good.
Using bamboo utensils, move the tofu around the pan until it is almost browned on all sides. Remove the tofu from the wok. Add more oil if needed and add fresh vegetables to the pan. Employ the same method to cook the vegetables.
Please excuse the dirty stove. I graduated from the “if you didn’t make a mess, you didn’t work hard enough” school of cooking.
When the veggies are cooked, return the tofu to the pan. Ooh eee ooh. Killer tofu.
Add stir-fry sauce to coat (bottled or homemade) and cook for another minute until heated through. Toss with noodles or serve over rice.
Late-night, one-pot, home-made, take-out MAGIC.
I am so glad I have gotten over that fear. This $5 wok is my new best friend. (Sorry Kyle and Melissa… you’re still at the top of my list. Right below my wok.)