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This is my wok, there are many like it, but this one is mine...

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    Posted 9 months ago

    kwqd
    (826 items)

    This wok is 14" in diameter, made of thick gauge high carbon spun steel and marked "Made in Hong Kong" on the bottom. I have had this wok for about 20 years and suspect it dates to the 1980s. Around that time I had an acute longing for real SE Asian fried rice like I used to buy from street vendors or was made for me by friends. There was zero chance of finding anything close where I lived, so I determined that I would have to make it myself. I tried a couple of ways with conventional cookware but just couldn't get it quite right. The texture was off, not really fried. I had seen it made many times and as I thought about it, always in woks. So, I needed a wok. I did quite a bit of research and decided for the best chance of success my new wok had to be spun, high carbon steel and around 14" in diameter. I also wanted it to be made somewhere in SE Asia where I had once lived or spent time, not China. I looked for something new or used for quite a while and could not find exactly what I was looking for.

    One day I was in a local thrift shop that did estate liquidations and found this wok. It was a mess. Someone had not properly seasoned it and it was mostly still "in the gray" with a mess of burnt debris in the center. But, it was the right size, the handle configuration I prefer, spun high carbon steel with ridges on the sides which would hold food moved there until it was ready to be moved back to the center, a proper wok. It was also made in Hong Kong where I had spent some R&R time so, close enough. It was only a couple of dollars, maybe less, I don't recall, so I decided to give it a try.

    I spent the evening stripping it back to the original finish and seasoning it and it worked great, but I needed a ring (base) and lid for it, so I decided to go back to the same thrift shop and see if they had gotten any other items with the wok. Sure enough I found the lid and ring which the folks at the thrift shop had not known were things which were used with woks so were in a different pile of stuff.

    So now I have authentic street food fried rice whenever I want, this is one of my most treasured bits of cookware and the search and restoration process makes it very personal. The YouTube video linked below has a decent recipe and instructions, but my recipe is different, more authentic to the street food I have had.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH__o17xHls

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    Comments

    1. kwqd kwqd, 9 months ago
      Thanks Jenni!
    2. AnythingObscure AnythingObscure, 9 months ago
      Yuppers, I've got at least one wok too somewhere, though not nearly likely as good quality or well cared for as yours, nor do I really know the particulars of any odd fried rice/Asian foods (is that a bad term to use these days?) nor often get the 'taste' for 'em, and when I do there's the drivethru place 2 blocks down...? <lol>

      Someday, mebbe, sooner or later, somebody will properly clean it and put it to use if it can still be used...? It was likewise a thrift store thing. I'll try to find/show it meanwhiles when I can get around to it...??
    3. kwqd kwqd, 9 months ago
      Street food, Asian, Indian, US, etc., is all unique and can really become addictive. I miss various street foods I experienced in other countries decades later, AnythingObscure. Some I will never be able to make at home. There is also a memory component as I remember many events when I eat or think of various street foods. The nice thing about woks, similar to cast iron, they can be cleaned an rejuvenated and given a second, third, fourth life. Woks suffer more, perhaps, than cast iron as there was a wok fad, maybe more than once, and many poorly designed woks were made as a result, hence my fairly difficult search to find a good used one. I could have found a new one, but liked the challenge of finding and restoring an older one. Now when I use it, I also have the memory of that search and the restoration process. I would love to see your wok, if/when you feel like posting it!

      Thanks for checking out my wok post charmsomeone, Thomas, ttomtucker, aura, jscott0363, Hoot60, dav2no1, Kevin, Watchsearcher, fortapache and AnythingObscure!
    4. racer4four racer4four, 9 months ago
      Must have a wok!
      Looks beautifully seasoned now Kevin.
    5. wickencrafts wickencrafts, 9 months ago
      WOK A Doodle DOO

      Time 4 Stir Fry
      Bon Appetit
    6. kwqd kwqd, 9 months ago
      LOL. Thanks for your comment wickencrafts! Time for egg fried rice, I think!
    7. kwqd kwqd, 9 months ago
      Thanks for your comment Karen! I love the look of well seasoned cooking tools!

      Thanks for loving my restored wok RichmondLori, PhilDMorris and Karen!
    8. kwqd kwqd, 9 months ago
      Thanks blammoammo and Eileen!
    9. Ms.CrystalShip Ms.CrystalShip, 9 months ago
      Good for you Kevin!
      Have you ever seen the electric red “woks” with the teflon bottom? Bah! They shouldn’t even have the right to call them woks.
      I had one in the early 70’s. Looked just like yours, and it’s true. They do have to be “seasoned” correctly or else flavor goes out the door. Had a recipe for “green chicken” once, darn it was good....
    10. kwqd kwqd, 9 months ago
      Thanks Eileen!! Yeah, I am with you on the electric wok. That misses the whole spirit of using a wok and the results are not as good.

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