My flamethrower - oops I mean wok burner has finally arrived! I got a friend living in Thailand to send it to me via snail mail (sea mail) and a month later, its here!
I've been trying to recreate that taste that appears to only be obtainable from the huge gas powered woks in chinese & thai restaurants/takeaways. This elusive "wok hey".... and now I can confirm that I am able to get similar results... sure the marinades and sauces are kept secret, but thats just a process of trial and error... now that I've got the equipment there is no stopping me :). Last night I made a dish similar to that known as "ants climbing trees" - a mixture of stirfried pork mince, soy, rice wine, bean thread noodles with some tobanjiang (chilli bean paste) and other assorted sauces and ingredients. I cannot describe the difference between cooking on this and my stove top wok burner (which is not bad at all, it puts out about 20000 btu according to the manual). Instead of the mince oozing out water and liquid and it almost boiling in its own juices, the second that the water/meat juices come out, they _instantly_ evaporate, so that even with a tiny amount of oil, the mince is being stirfried not boiled. Due to the high heat, the meat gets this unique flavour that was never present with my stovetop wok burner, and it gets that beautiful caramelised colour too.
The only problem is that you have to have EVERYTHING ready and you have to be extremely quick handed... leave something for 5 seconds without stirring and its burnt... put the sauce in and turn around - by the time you turn back again it has evaporated and the sugars in it have burnt. Its all about speed and when you get it right oh man, its beautiful.
Anyways enough raving on... I have tried to take photos, but either I have a really crappy digital camera, or flames are VERY hard to capture properly. I tried it at night and during the day, with and without a flash, with and without lights on... so I have included the best shots I could get. All I can say in addition is that these photos do not do the flame justice. The SOUND of the flame is scary enough on its own, sounds like someone has cut open a huge city-wide gas pipe and your ear is right next to the high pressured gas rushing out. And the flame itself is completely blue when its set to the highest, and about 1.5 feet high.
This little baby uses a high pressure regulator and runs off LPG.. at its peak, it is putting out 120000 - 125000 BTUs (per hour).
Day shot of the wok burner in action on "Medium-high" setting:
Night shot of the wok burner on "Medium-high" setting:
Night shot of the wok burner on "Medium" setting:
Night shot of the wok burner on "High" setting... notice the blue flame wrapping around the wok.
Night shot of the wok burner on "High" setting... notice the blue flame wrapping around the wok... futhermore, notice the wok actually glowing orange because it is so hot (this shot is about 20 seconds after I turned it on)
Edited by infernooo, 06 November 2005 - 01:56 AM.