We Will, We Will Wok You!

Photo by Ray Hydrick

Photo by Ray Hydrick

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a “Wok Star”.  I don’t use it enough to be really great at it.  Plus, my ghetto wok is horrible.  It’s not one of those built by some craftsman in a small town in China but rather a cheap one built by Bob and sold at World Market.  

This first time I used this wok, it was a disaster.   So I come home with my shiny, new wok and I was ready to “wok the world”.  Stir fry?  No problem.  Kung Pow Chicken? Bring it! Most of time when I cook, I pre-heat the pan while I cut up the first few ingredients; but with a wok, since the pan is so thin, it was blazing by the time I got to it.  I added my oil to the pan and put in my first few ingredients and whoomp! Burnt. It was like magician with flash paper.  Not to mention the fact that all that charred food stuck to the pan like it was soldered to it.  I got “that look” from Ray when he had to clean it.  I think he went through two steel wool pads. 

Ghetto Wok

Ghetto Wok

Through trial and error, here are a few tips that may help you when you are in the mood to “wok it”: 
Tip #1:  Buy a pre-seasoned wok.  You can find them at any mega store (Wal-Mart, Target, etc.).
Tip #2:  Have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go. 
Tip #3:  Make sure you cut your ingredients about the same size for even cooking. 
Tip #4:  Don’t cook everything at once.  Do it in stages and then combine at the end.
Tip #5:  High heat is crucial.  A wok is for stir frying, it has to be “woking hot”. 

Here is recipe that is easy to do and is tasty as well.  I got this from Surin West – a Thai restaurant in Birmingham.  It is called Larb.  Horrible name, great dish.  Here is my spin on this “woking” dish.    


Photo by Ray Hydrick

1 lb ground chicken
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 cup scallions, sliced
2 limes, juiced
¼ cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons chili oil (Asian section at the mega mart)
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt and cracked pepper

Prepare all of your ingredients in advance.  Heat your wok and add a teaspoon of olive oil.  Add your chicken and stir. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.  Cook until well done, about 3 minutes.  Remove and place in a bowl.  Add another teaspoon of oil and add the red onion, stir fry for 1 minute. Add the garlic and scallions, stir for another minute.  Add your chicken back to the wok.  Add the lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil and chili oil.  Stir to combine.  Add scallions and cilantro and stir.  Remove from heat. You can serve this dish as lettuce wraps or over a salad.  If you don’t have a wok and still want to try this dish, just use a large sauté pan or skillet. 

Sometimes you need to step out of your comfort zone and make something that is different.  If you make some mischief, you learn from it.  I mean, for me, I enjoy being a little bit country and a little bit “wok & roll”. 😉

I would like to apologize for all the wok puns in this post.  I thought, if I am going to “wok it”, I’m gonna “wok it” real good.  I need help.

2 Responses to “We Will, We Will Wok You!”

  1. rhbulldawg Says:

    These lettuce wraps are really good — spicy, and delicious. Hey, who cares of you’re ‘wok and roll’ when you can also ‘wrap’. 🙂

  2. beth copham Says:

    Maybe you should consider therapy. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: