Someone might ask what is a pow wok, and you will tell them that it's just like any other pan with handles, but usually used for cooking over an open flame gas stove. For many years, the traditionalist way of cooking in China has been with a round-bottomed wok. This is because it's designed for people who want to toss and flip their food easily while also getting optimal heat transfer.
The 14-inch round-bottom woks with a long handle, usually 6-7 inches, seem to be most popular, but it does take strength to do the flipping for pow wok cooking as you are in constant motion keeping the food moving so it doesn't burn.
While it may seem difficult to master, pow wok cooking is actually relatively simple once you know the basics. The key is to have all of your ingredients prepared before you start cooking, as the whole process happens very quickly.
Once everything is chopped and ready to go, you'll need to heat your wok until it's smoking hot. Then, add a small amount of oil and swirl it around to coat the surface. Next, add your meat or vegetables and cook them for a minute or two, giving them a toss or flip, until they're browned. Finally, add any sauces or seasonings, give everything a final stir, and serve hot.
With a little practice, you'll be able to produce delicious pow wok dishes that will impress your family and friends.
BTW - if you don't have a gas stove and would like to see which woks are best for an electric stove, visit our article on Choosing the Best Wok for an Electric Stove!
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