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15 December 2016

how to be a wok star

i have been enrolled at the school of wok for many, many years now - possibly for as long as what an actual degree would take to complete, having been involved with the school in so many ways over the last few years; most recently at the #wokfor1000 charity cook-in where i helped prep and cook for more than 1000 of the capital's most needy. cool, cool, cool. as a long-time fan-now-friend of the school and the team who run it, i couldn't have been prouder when i heard that chef jeremy pang was fiiiinally launching his own range of woks.

i'm normally a lazy, non-stick pan kinda gal, but when presented with my very own carbon steel wok from jez's range, i was hardly going to say no. the only problem: a good quality carbon steel wok like this needs seasoning and proper maintenance, and well.. i wasn't sure i was up for the challenge. but! then! i realised! that each wok in his range - carbon steel or not, comes with it's very own instruction guide and maintenance tips, so i figured that even i couldn't mess it up! the four steps are easy as pie to follow, and are as follows:

1. give your wok a good scrub with a metal scourer to remove any residue from the packaging. 2. heat the wok over a high flame until the inside is a dark grey/blue colour all round. 3. when the wok is cool, dip a thick pad of kitchen roll in vegetable oil and rub around the wok. 4. use a high heat until the wok starts to smoke. once the smoke disappears and the wok is dark grey/black you're ready to go!

et voila! there you have one properly seasoned wok! when it comes to washing up, remember to not use any detergent - it will mess with the integrity of the metal, and leave a nasty flavour in the wok. you want to use hot water only; the pan should be quite non-stick by this point so there should be no problems getting it cleaned. leave the wok cleaned wok on the still-warm hob to dry, and store it in a safe place! you can stack other woks inside it, but be careful not to scratch the inside in the process. a scratch will rust, and then all your seasoning and maintenance efforts will be for nowt.

what's your fave dish to cook in a wok? thai green curry is mine!

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