Still searching for Wok Hay

by yearoffood

Seasoning my wok was really easy – wash it, rub it with safflower oil, and then bake it upside down at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Guru Randy from The Wok Shop suggests doing it twice.  The final step is to stir fry some leeks or onions until charred in a little more oil.  Stir the leeks so they touch all parts of the wok and push them into the wok as they cook.  Throw out the charred leeks and wipe out your wok and you are done.  I have used my wok three times this week but I am still searching for Wok hay – the prized, elusive, seared taste that comes only from stir-frying in a wok – the ultimate achievement longed for by chefs according to Grace Young.  My dishes – Shanghai-Style Shrimp and Vegetarian Fried Rice both (from The Breath of a Wok), and Stir Fry Bok Choy with Black Bean Sauce (from Fast, Fresh and Green by Susie Middleton) were all in the “8” range – good but not outstanding – so the Wok hay search goes on.  I will definitely make the Bok Choy and Fried Rice again – the shrimp probably not but the sauce with it was really great.   After the prep work, wok cooking is very quick and since you really want to eat the food right away, it is difficult time-wise to include another dish as part of the meal.  Rice of course is easy but with a veggie dish like the Bok Choy I’m still working on how to include a meat or chicken side that will be ready at the same time but that requires no work from me.     Still having fun with the wok but will take a little Italian break tomorrow.