Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Back to the wok

Grazing online I saw that Wandering Chopsticks has a weekend wok round up going on, while on EatingAsia, Robyn and Dave shared their recipe for a sausage and cucumber salad that sounds quite delicious. I might make that salad later in the week, all the ingredients are easy to find in my neighborhood markets.
But what caught my attention was the notion of the wok. I grew up with woks around the house, but I knew them as more like your regular frying pans without knowing they had a special name; my mother may have just called them calderos. We had several of varying sizes, most of them were iron or steel, quite heavy and I learned how to make fried rice, eggs, and fried chicken on them when I was a kid. We always used gas burners, the maids only seemed to know one level of heat, and that was high. Took my mother time to get them to understand they could adjust the level of heat, especially if it was a new maid.
Over the years, in different homes in my life, I have had to cook with a variety of heat sources, and in some dorms, we were forced to cook on little electric burners, or built in cookers that didn't cause the fuse to conk out. I can't recall what I was using to cook on in HK, but I shall assume it was an electric burner. And in my last residence in Manila, I made do with an induction burner.
My apartment here in WZ has a small kitchen, just enough for one person to turn around, counterspace is at a premium. But it has two burners, and yes, it is gas. For the first few weeks, I made do with a pot I found in the closet, but I recently bought a rice cooker and a wok. I didn't make a conscious decision to get a wok, I just figured I needed something multi-functional and would work with the style of food I plan to make while I'm here. Again, eat local, eat the style of food available.
In the week I've had my wok, I've used it to make eggs, fried rice, and a quick saute of chillies. Vegetables, some soup, maybe steam up some dimsum one day, all for the future.


Katrina said...

Your mom might have called the wok a kawali. Caldero is a pot, like a stock pot or what you cook rice in. :-)

I wouldn't have thought to buy a wok if I hadn't inherited it from an ex who left for abroad. But once I got used to having it, I couldn't do without. When its coating got all scratched up, I had to replace it with a new one. Nothing's better for fried rice -- and you know how I love to make that! :-D

Watergirl said...

The kawali! That's what it was, I knew caldero wasn't quite right, lol!
You can reseal a wok, Kat, oil, heat, and a just remember don't wash it after using with soap.

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