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jemartin

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  1. I notice some chefs seem to like adding water to the hot pan, and the pan flames up. Does this improve wok hei or is it just for show?
  2. I heard that you need quality iron or carbon steel woks and a very powerful gas burner for getting good wok hei and making the best tasting Chinese stir fry dishes like restaurants make. I have a wok and a wok burner that I think work for this purpose, but would like to know what to do now. The main problem I'm encountering is that nearly all cookbooks seem to be designed to teach people to cook on low-power standard home stoves rather than in the high heat setting with a more restaurant-like round-bottom wok on a powerful gas burner. There's one particular recipe at Chinese restaurants I really like and want to learn to cook at home. I think it's this: https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7603564 Where should I go to learn to do this correctly? Is there a particular cookbook or education source that teaches you to cook restaurant-type Chinese food with these powerful gas burners in particular? I've been making similar things at home with beef & broccoli stir fray seasoning packets and with the wok, but notice if I use the suggested amount of water for the sauce it boils off in the wok very quickly, and leaves my broccoli relatively uncooked. I think I need to learn how to cook stuff on the higher heat specifically to make it work out right. My stir fries with the sauce packets taste pretty good if I add more water than the sauce packet suggests so it doesn't all boil away, but I don't think this is the right way to cook it to get wok hei, and probably aren't as good as my favored meal at the Chinese restaurant I like. What to do?
  3. Thanks for the tip. Maybe I should find some gloves to wear instead of just using a dish cloth then to protect hands from oil (even if I get a Pow Wok with a handle)? Edit: I think someone earlier mentioned Korin as a high quality wok maker and a reputable company which makes woks that would give me good wok hei, but I don't see the post anymore on here. Just wondering if you guys can confirm this wok would be a good choice for making restaurant-style Chinese food over a 65000 BTU burner (or something similar) to get good wok hei with the pow wok tossing cooking style for stir frying: http://www.korin.com/TK-301-07-36?sc=28&category=17780105 I was just concerned if it might be the wrong choice because it says it's "iron" instead of the usual silver colored carbon steel that these pow woks are usually made of. Not sure if that's a problem.
  4. Western burners that are purpose-built for woks included? I notice outdoorstirfry.com seems to have several wok burners at decent looking prices. Does anyone on this website have experience buying from this company? Are they a reputable business with good products? Or do you have alternative wok burner suggestions? edit -- found another source for the 65000 btu Kahuna burner purchase so I don't need help with the burner question anymore.
  5. My post was about a lot more than just wok technology... it also discusses burners and the best items from a product safety perspective based on specific criteria. The thread from 2005 you referred to makes no mention of this, and does not discuss products from the perspective of the product safety criteria I mentioned in my initial post. The available products on the market (woks, burners) have changed a lot in 13 years. Companies have surely introduced many new products since then, and taken old ones off the market. The basic wok or burner technology may be the same, but new companies come along and introduce new burners, some of which may be higher quality, have lower prices, be more efficient, be more durable, or be better in some other way. Even if a company releases a burner or wok in 2005 that seems to work well at that time, that may later be taken off the market and replaced with other newer products for product safety reasons, durability issues, design flaws, or other issues. For example, while this wok is still on the market and presumably uses the same wok technology as many woks from a long time ago, reviewers of this particular product on the Amazon page are clearly criticizing this product because of design flaws and durability issues associated with the handle breaking off during cooking. There may be similar issues with some particular burner from 2005, there may be better burners available in 2018 that don't have these design flaws or durability issues, or perhaps a particular burner or wok model from 2005 referred to in the thread is no longer even available. But again, all of that aside, the thread you referred to makes no reference to the product safety issues I brought up in my initial post.
  6. That thread is from 2005... 13 years ago.
  7. I'm interested in learning to cook Chinese food with a similar flavor quality as you would get in a good Chinese restaurant with a lot of wok hei. I did a small amount of reading from books like Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge and Breath of the Wok to get some background knowledge on this topic, but still have some questions. I purchased this burner to get more heat and increase the wok hei in my stir fries, which claims to have 65,000 BTU output (I saw many people on these forums mention using it in other threads, so I'm guessing it's a good choice, but just wanted to check). There appear to be videos of people cooking on it on the Amazon page with traditional round-bottom woks, so I'm assuming it will work well with round bottom woks. This burner should also have plenty of BTUs to get restaurant-quality wok hei, right? I saw there were other burners on the market that have higher BTUs, but I thought they might not be as good for this purpose since they were not purpose-built for wok cooking. Can any of you comment on this? Before realizing that round-bottom woks are better and allow cooking with less oil, I purchased this wok from my local Sur la Table, which is a 14" flat-bottom carbon steel wok imported from Taiwan. Now I am somewhat interested in finding a more authentic/traditional carbon steel wok with a round bottom for use with the new burner I mentioned above, but am having trouble finding one I like. I'm trying to find one sold by a reputable company which is produced in a country with decent cookware regulations and safety laws to minimize health risks associated with lead contamination in cookware, such as Japan. (I'm hoping to avoid woks from countries such as China, because of scary stories like this, this, this, this or this about product safety or reliability issues). While this wok fails my lead safety requirements I just mentioned, it is the type I should be looking for to get this wok hei on my new burner, right? I was wondering, because I noticed in videos that Chinese restaurants like PF Chang's they use woks that are all one metal piece with no wood on them, and the handles are always made of the same metal that the wok itself is made of. Can anyone else comment on this? Do you use woks with wooden handles for ultra high-heat Chinese cooking, or do you prefer the woks that are all metal and have metal handles? Does anyone have suggestions for good woks that meet my criteria mentioned above? Would my Sur la Table wok be a bad choice for use with my new high heat burner because of the wood handles and flat bottom? PF Chang's restaurants say in their YouTube video that they use these carbon steel woks from Japan because Japan makes the best woks for this style of high-heat cooking, but unfortunately they don't provide information about the company. The building says "Summit" on it, but I could not find any Summit brand woks on Amazon unless they come from third-party sellers (not sure how reputable they are). If anyone knows where I could get one of these Japanese carbon steel woks they show in the video (or something similar you personally think is of great quality for my purposes), that would be terrific.
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