seasoned wok!

i did it, today i seasoned a wok! here’s the proof!

this is what it looked like before, since i forgot to get a complete one

this is how the entire wok looked, that silver was under a manufacturer's lining!

the finished product, using the first method listed below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only iron and steel woks need to be seasoned. Stainless steel woks do not need this treatment, as they are far less porous than iron or steel woks. However with stainless steel woks, more oil is required to prevent the food from sticking and burning.

Seasoning a steel wok enables foods to glide smoothly over the cooking surface of the wok. In a properly seasoned wok one should be able to make perfect omelettes. If the omelette even sticks ever so slightly, then the wok is not properly seasoned and should be re-seasoned.

There are two methods for seasoning the iron or steel wok. To season a new or to re-season an old rusty wok, thoroughly scrub it inside and out with soap and a steel wool scouring pad to remove the manufacturer’s protective coating on a new wok, or the rust on an old one. Rinse thoroughly with hot water. Some manufacturers apply a coating that is hard to remove, so set the wok on the stove, fill it with water and boil it for several minutes until the coating dissolves. Pour out the water and scrub the surface clean with steel wool and soap.

Set the clean wok over high heat. Heat until a few drops of water sprinkled into the wok immediately turn into dancing beads. While the pan is heating, it will change from shiny steel grey to blue, purple, red and, finally, black.

Dip several sheets of wadded-up paper towel into peanut or corn oil and wipe the oil on the entire inside surface of the wok (you may want to use long-handled tongs to hold the towels). Reduce heat to low and let the wok sit over the heat for 15 minutes to absorb the oil – the colour changes will continue and, hopefully, the bottom of the wok will darken. In time and with frequent use the entire wok will turn black. If the surface looks dry, wipe with another thin film of oil. Remove wok from the burner and let it cool.

Reheat the wok and repeat the oiling and heating process once more before using it for stir-frying.

Another more thorough method of seasoning a wok is to brush polyunsaturated cooking oil on the cooking surface of the wok and then place the wok into an oven at 150’C. for four hours. The oil in the wok will become pooled while heating in the oven, so about every hour or so, take your brush and brush the oil up around the sides of the wok and continue heating. Obviously, woks that have plastic or wooden handles should not be put in the oven.

New woks may cause a slight metallic taste to the first two or three dishes that are cooked in it, but after use, the metallic taste disappears.

A wok’s worst enemies are soap and scouring pads – they’ll remove any seasoning the wok has acquired. After cooking foods in the wok, it is best to run very hot water into it and clean the surface of the wok with a bamboo brush or plastic scour. If you watch a Chinese cook in a large restaurant, you will see him (yes, I think men are the best cooks! ) keep the wok on the stove, make it hot again and then dump some water into the wok and, as it is sizzling, scrub it quickly with a bamboo brush and then dump the water before starting to make a new order. The whole process takes maybe 5 seconds and the wok is clean.

After you have washed your wok, dry it thoroughly with a paper towel and store for future use. Some gourmets will place a small amount of oil on their fingertips to re-coat their woks to keep them in top cooking condition.

Eventually through repeated usage, a dark brown film will develop in the wok. The wok is now truly seasoned. This film is essentially carbon and is not harmful to one’s health. The bottom of the woks, the part that touches the cooking flame of the stove should definitely be scoured over occasionally to free it of collected residue.

If one has the misfortune to accidentally burn food in the wok, it will be necessary to take steel wool and scour out the burnt material and then re-season the wok once again. Each time that one has to scour out the wok with abrasive material, then one should re-season the wok.

Stainless steel woks sometimes stick when used to cook omelettes or for stir-frying meats. To overcome this problem, one can spend five minutes to “season” the wok before use or spray a coating of lecithin on the surface of the wok to allow for easy gliding of the foods. Lecithin is sold commercially under several brand names as “non-stick” cooking aids.

and now you know how to season a wok. this comes directly from http://www.asiarecipe.com/woks.html

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the past 3 weeks

so…. i moved to starkville mississippi. yeah i dont know why either. i mean besides the great job opportunity and getting to work with marisa baggett. a black female sushi chef, yep it is kinda unheard of. moving along though, i did move from memphis to starkville and it has been different. mississippi state is the entire town, and by that i mean that everything needs that school to survive. its one walmart and two mcdonalds. it was two mcdonalds within 5 minutes of my old job, no telling how many in memphis. so thats culture shock. no choice about much of anything, its one this, one that, one everything. its like the power of 1ne put into action.so as if that was crazy enough, everything is on one street. highway 12. i almost named my blog that because i spend so much time there. so from walmart to gas, to pawn shops, to storage units, its all on highway 12 and thats the only place in the entire town i know how to get. i live in the hotel at the moment which is also the venue that houses the resturant i am helping open. the mollendor family own this establishment and thus far they are lovely hosts and lovely people. I turned 26, and we finalized the menu. i have exceed expectations and fell short all in one tasting. I have done more manual labor than i probably have in all my life. and i am loving every minute of it. its change, its scary, but its fun. now i live in the moment and in this moment the doldrums of repetition are gone.

 

Kevin Sullivan

Sugoi Chef

http://www.sugoicuisine.com

Hello world!

this is among other things an introduction. a meeting of the minds if you will. well at least yours and mine. soon if you keep reading you will learn that among other things i am so cheesy that kraft should sue and that i fancy myself awfully punny! so this is me marrying two of my passions, writing and cooking. I have 9 years experience in an Asian Fusion/ Pacific Rim type restaurant known to the world as Tsunami, http://www.tsunamimemphis.com . i apprenticed there under Head Chef/ Owner Ben Smith and Sous Chef Donny Graham.   many came and went but these two were my culinary mentors. during my extended tenure i met Sushi Chef and Pastry Chef extraordinaire Marisa Baggett, http://www.marisabaggett.com. marisa took me under her wings and showed me a traditional style of sushi with jut enough modern evolution to not be insulting. from dishwashing to saute fish i have learned it all from these three, then marisa taught me sashimi but thats for a later time. this is merely a listing of my credentials, my accomplishments, a background check of sorts.

but as for me the person, i have one philosophy, and that is the power of 1ne, hence the name of this blog. i always felt like i wanted to delve deeper into the world of cooking, the art of flavor pairing but never felt as though i had my own identity. i realized my identity just today and that is the power of one. i want to control flavors from their embodiment in fruit, meat, cheese and etc to a full flavored dish that comforts the soul and nourishes the body. an overwhelming suspicion of others who mean to help but may not fully appreciate the creaminess of every avocado or the saltiness of soy. balancing between taking on too much leaving me teetering on the brink of overwhelmed and delegating duties and watching on intensely i exist carving out flavors and melding, mixing, and blending until viola! a dish is created.

which brings me to my point. 3 weeks ago i moved away from everything i know and love in memphis to starkville, mississippi. here with marisa baggett i create dishes based on what we would like to call modern asian cuisine, which is asian tradition with an american appeal. and this is my journal of sorts. here you get to read about my exploits, my failures and my successes. you can trek through the abyss which is starting a restaurant vicariously through me. so for a few Sugoi secrets check back often, email with questions or suggestions, and enjoi!

 

Kevin Sullivan

Sugoi Chef

http://www.sugoicuisine.com

 

ps i feel that the web community is a bit zealous about spelling, grammar and punctuation. so the lack of capital letters is a bit of a deterrent as well as a showing of the informal nature of this blog. i want you to know me and i want to know you and so i would rather run off those looking to go over the finer points of english with bad grammar and capitalization than deal with the teacher with the red pen.