January 08, 2006

No wok, no problem.

You don't need a hand hammered, imported wok to make a killer stir fry. Don't get me wrong, a good wok is an essential tool for anyone truly exploring Asian cuisine or any advanced foodie. But if you don't have one, you can still make a meal that is really close if you break out your 12 inch or better cast iron skillet and go about the meal in a little different sequence than in a high temp wok.

  • As with any stir fry, have everything cut, sliced and measured before you begin cooking.
  • Heat your seasoned cast iron skillet until you just see the first wisps of smoke.
  • If you are using meat, chicken or seafood cook it first in small batches over very high heat.
  • Remove all items just before they are 'done', carryover cooking will continue for a few minutes.
  • Cook each vegetable separately over high heat and remove each ingredient to a warm plate.
  • When you reach the last item, pour everything back into the pan to reheat and add your sauce
  • Thicken with 1/2 cornstarch and 1/2 water mixed into a slurry.

If you don't have a cast iron skillet, go buy one. Buy the largest you can find, and follow the instructions on seasoning prior to the first use. The cast iron skillet has to be the most under utilized tool in the average American kitchen. Part time chefs, don't know much about average, do we?

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Marcia Ritter said...


Your site is wonderful!! I am learning from your years of cooking-lust!!! Keep putting your ideas out here! You are soon to be discovered!

Marcia Ritter

Russ Preston said...

Mr. Rogers, Can I use a cast iron skillet on my wife's new ceramic cook-top stove? Russ