RSA Animate – Changing Education Paradigms

My wok is almost dead.

My wok is dying. It has been peeling for a few days now and I don’t really know how to cure it. I tried oiling it again and am half afraid to use it too. So, these days, I only use it to steam food.

As a Chinese brought up with stir-fried food, I know it would be soon that I have to call for help. So, an SOS call was made to mom this morning and all she asked was, “What did you do to the wok?”

I don’t know! I seasoned it the first time I used it and also constantly oiled it after washing and drying. I did what I should. Then she asked, “How much did you buy the wok for?” “A few dollars.” “You cannot buy cheap woks!”

You get what you pay. A wok doesn’t really cost a bomb, unlike those dutch ovens but I know too that a few dollars worth of wok could only produce  that much of a result or last that long. I also acknowledge that it could be how I take care of the wok. Perhaps, I just didn’t preserve it well. My mom took care of her equipment and protected them. She would scold us if we turned on the heat too high and constantly observed how we used and washed them. I guess those were her prized possession and having us tamper with them carelessly made her heart ache. After all, those good ones cost almost a grand for a set (I was actually amazed when she disclosed that). My mom’s wok (or those set of cookware)is as old as I am and is still working fine. The current one that I have lasted 2 months. What a shame.

The hubs suggested getting one on Black Friday but I don’t think I can wait that long for a wok. A skillet works fine, by the way, but it’s just different stir-frying using a skillet. The handling is…just weird. Wrentham Village where we would be going houses 2 kitchenware brands – Le Creuset and Calphalon. I don’t believe Le Creuset has woks. Calphalon stores them but they cost a bomb. I am no professional and I won’t spend so much on a wok.

So, I did my research and came across Joyce Chen’s wok. She’s a chef whom I know naught of but the review on her wok is good. A little about her: Joyce Chen opened her first restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1958. She found that the selection and quality of Chinese cookware in America didn’t live up to her high standards… so she developed her own. The wok which I have eyed is relatively affordable – $28 for a set of 4 items as compared to Calphalon’s at $75 for a similar wok.

Meanwhile, I will try to resuscitate my wok. But there is a high chance that it would be replaced. Mom’s warning was “Stop using it” but let’s just try eh? The wok is a bit too heavy for my wrist as well which I fear constant use of it could resurrect the old injury I had.

Saving on kitchenware is not quite a wise move because it cost more having to buy new ones to replace them. Good ones save in the long run; they could even serve as heirloom/dowry! =p I, for instance, would love to have my mom’s kitchenware!