Find answers to common questions by selecting from the questions below. Can’t find your answer? you can always drop me a line here.
Clean and care
Should I wash the wok before using it?
Yes! We’d recommend washing your wok by following our care instruction before its first use.
I love dropping my hot wok in the sink and watching it steam...but is that bad?
Yes. You should always let your wok cool before putting it in the sink or rinsing it with water. This will help it maintain its shape and continue to evenly cook forever.
Why and what to do when my carbon steel wok start to rust?
Sometimes in humid conditions or if you don't use it on a regular basis your wok may develop rust because of the nature of a natural material like carbon steel. The seasoning can sometimes look blotchy, feel sticky, or develop spots. This is all normal. Just keep cooking and the patina will develop.
What to do when my wok starts to rust?
Give the wok a good clean-up!
- Swirl in 2 tsp of oil and 1 tbs of kosher salt.
- Scrub all over.
- Repeat as needed.
- Rinse thoroughly in hot water.
- Use steel wool if necessary.
- Once you have removed the rust... Time to re-season!
When I unpacked my wok, I realised that it was oxidised. Is that normal?
The surface of on carbon steel wok may be oxidised when you purchase it. These marks come from the storage place or the shipping as humidity triggers a surface oxidation that doesn’t spoil the wok cooking properties. To remove the marks, only scrub your wok with an abrasive sponge with warm water and season it before first use.
The handle on my wok seems to have lossened lightly, what can I do about this?
Handles and knobs may loosen after a time due to the continual heating and cooling of the fixing. If this occurs, carefully re-tighten using an appropriate screwdriver, but do not over-tighten.
Should I use detergent to clean my wok?
Once your wok has been seasoned, it should ideally never be cleaned using a detergent; hot water and a cloth should be all that are necessary to remove any stuck-on food. If you wok does go rust, or if you find it difficult to remove burnt-on food, you may need to use some detergent, but you will then have to re-season the wok before you can cook in it again.
Should I avoid cooking acidic food?
Yes and no. Cooking tomatoes and other acidic food in your seasoned wok will remove some of the patina, however, this lost patina will be re-acquired after one or two use. We recommend for the first few times of use avoid cooking with any acid such as vinegar, lemons and tomatoes.
Is the cookware dishwasher safe?
Hand washing is recommended as automatic dishwashers will remove the natural coating. Remember wash it in hot water only. Do not use detergent or a scrubber.
Can I use metal utensils with my wok?
In fact, a wok chuan, which is a "scoop" that's a bit like a metal spatula, is not only OK to use, it's an essential part of Asian cooking. Wooden utensils just don't have the right shape or, well, weight, for proper stir-frying.
How to season my wok?
To get years of use from your wok, you need to look after it. This needn’t be difficult or intimidating. You may visit our how to season page on how to season and clean carbon steel wok. The tips are easy, with a little TLC, this wok will become naturally non-stick over time and will help you to cook delicious, healthy food for years to come.
What type of oil I should use for seasoning my wok?
Traditionally lard or peanut oil but you can always use coconut oil, grapeseed or other healthier alternatives that is high in smoke point.
Where are your woks made?
Our woks are 100% hand hammered by our team of master craftsmen in Guangdong. Every hand hammered wok is uniquely crafted with pure passion and great care, no two are exactly alike.
What is the gauge of the carbon steel for this wok?
Our wok is made from 16 gauge commercial grade carbon steel, which is how the traditional carbon steel wok are made.
What is the thickness in mm of your wok?
This is a 16 gauge wok which means the thickness is vary from 1.3mm-1.5mm. I know sounds confusing right! As our wok is handcrafted and specially designed to have a thick base and thin wall, you may find the base is thicker (1.5mm) than the edge of wok (1.3mm). This help to make the wok lighter as well as improve heat distribution.
I notice that some woks weigh 4 1/2 - 5 pounds. Your wok is 3.35 pounds. Is it better to have a heavy wok or light wok?
This is a really good question. A perfect wok should be neither too light or heavy. A wok that is too light means it is thinly constructed and may potentially warp under high heat. A heavy wok, however, can slow down the heat transfer. This leads to a longer cooking time and your stir fry may end up soggy and murky. A heavy wok also makes it harder to toss and flip your ingredient, which is an essential techniques for a perfect stir fry.
From my experience, the best way to choose a wok is to look at the thickness (gauge) because the weight of wooden/steel handle can vary widely. A well-balanced carbon steel pow wok should be around 1.2mm -1.5mm thickness (16 gauge). This is also how traditional wok was made. The right thickness allows the wok heat up fast but also keep the entire wok at an optimal temperature.
Is Mammafong wok safe for me and my family?
Yes! We are committed to produce quality products that are safe, durable and for everyday healthy cooking:
- No PFOA - throughout the entire production process
- No lead, cadmium, or mercury
- Manufactured under strict American health and safety regulations
- Suitable for healthy cooking
Where can I use my wok?
Ideal for wok burners but also compatible with gas, electric, ceramic, halogen and even camp fire. You may need to stabilize the wok on a ring stand on some cooking surface. To get more use from your wok, take it to the backyard cookout. Set it directly on the charcoal and stir fry away.
What can I cook with the wok?
The wok is not only for stir-frying - It can be used for pretty much everything. Deep-fry, steaming, braising and smoking, you name it. Deep-frying in a wok, you need much less oil than in a saucepan. You can fill the base of the wok with water and steam a plate of vegetable on a steam rack. To get you inspired, go to our recipe for more cooking ideas.
Where can I buy this wok?
You may find our wok at Amazon US
How do I know when my wok is hot enough to start cooking?
After a few times cooking with your wok, you will be able to estimate correctly when your wok is the right temperature. Until then here’s what you can do:
Flick droplets of water into the wok after putting it under high heat for 30 seconds. As soon as a bead of water evaporates within 1 to 2 seconds of contact, the wok is heated and ready for stir-frying.
What is your tips on perfect stir-fry?
Nine simple tips will bring your frying game up to a master-level.
- Before stir-frying, thoroughly dry all ingredients.
- Preheat wok until hot before pouring in oil. Wok is hot when a few drops of water sprinkled in it dance across the surface (Some people call it the mercury ball).
- Add oil to hot wok: then tilt wok to coat sides with oil.
- Crush ginger, garlic, and green onion against sides of wok with the back of a spatula so that their juices season the oil.
- Always wait unitl oil and wok are hot before adding additional food.
- Unless recipe states otherwise, add food in batches to centre of wok, pushing cooked foods up sides of wok to make room.
- When stir-frying minced meat, press and poke meat with edge of spatula to break up clumps for even cooking.
- When adding wine or stock, splash against sides of hot wok. The liquids should sizzle, intensifying their flavours.
- If too much liquid accumulates in wok, push food up sides and reduce liquid in centre of wok over high heat: then proceed.
Is it true that Mammafong make the most delicious stir-fry?
Yes, I think so! Not even Chen Kenichi from the Iron Chef can beat my mom. Mammafong said the keys to a successful stir-frying are timing, preparation, and organisation. Here are some quick tips.
- Because most stir-fried dishes cook in only 3 to 5 minutes, sauces should be mixed ahead of time and seasonings arranged in small dishes within close reach of the stove.
- Meats and vegatables should be cut into suitably sized pieces before you begin cooking. Hard vegetables with long cooking time, should be cut into bite-sized pieces and either steamed or blanched in boiling water.
- Make sure you have drain, rinse with cold water, and pat dry.
- As a general rule, seasonings, condiments, meats and vegetables are cooked in the wok separately, in batches, in the order of required cooking times. Each is tossed with the hot seasoned oil in the wok to accentuate its individual flavour. Then all the foods are stir-fried together.
- Make sure you dont over stir it. It will take only a few minutes, vegetables come out crisp and colourful, meats come out lightly browned and juicy.
- At the final final step, a cornstarch solution is added to lightly bind all the flavours and textures together.
Quite a mouthful right? But trust me, keep practicing and you will master the stir-fry in no time!
How to estimate servings for a Chinese dinner?
A traditional Chinese-style dinner would offer many different main dishes served along with steamed rice. If you want to have such a meal at home, you may be puzzled as to how much food to prepare and how to judge how many guests each dish will serve.
Here is a simple guideline: add the pounds of boneless meat, poultry, and seafood in all the main dishes you plan to serve. Then allow a total of ¼ to ½ pound of meat, poultry, and seafood for each person.
In orther words, if the the total weight of all the meat, poultry, and seafood in your dishes is 1 pound, the dishes will serve 3-4 people. If the total weight is 2 pounds, they will serve 6-8 people, and so on.
Why is it important to get the temperature of the wok right before adding food?
Getting your wok’s temperature right is important for both the cooking and cleaning process. A wok that is too cold can cause the food to stick to it. A wok that is too hot will cause food or oils to burn.
What is wok hei “wok’s breath” ?
Wok hei, or the 'breath of the wok' ... It refers to the flavour and tastes imparted by a hot wok on food during stir frying, and is particularly important for those Chinese dishes requiring searing heat.
Wok buying Guide
What to look for when buying a wok?
Look for a 14 to 16inch wok with a reasonable thickness. Your wok should have two handles; a long handle used to move and tilt the wok when cooking and a smaller handle on the opposite side to make it easy to lift the pan.
Many professional chef choose a traditional rounded-bottom woks over a flat-bottom wok because of the even heat distrubtion.
Carbon steel woks are relatively inexpensive and conduct heat evenly, making them a popular chose. Although a non-stick aluminium wok will be easier to clean, it does not retain heat as well as carbon steel, making it less effective in stir-frying. Cast iron does a better job of retaining heat than carbon steel, but the weight of a cast iron wok may make it difficult to handle. We recommend carbon steel for its relatively light weight, quick heat conduction, and excellent heat retention.
Do I Really Need a Wok ?
If you are going to stir-fry or make authentic Asian meal, I would suggest that you purchase a wok. If you think that you wouldn’t use a wok frequently enough to warrant the purchase, you can use a sauté pan instead. Knowing that you will not get the same results as you would if you use a wok, but your stir fry will still taste good.
Why carbon steel wok ?
The best wok is a round wok made of carbon steel. Carbon steel conducts heat very well, allowing the pan to reach a high temperature at lightning speed. And this is what it’s all about in wok cooking.
What about the round shape? What does this add to it? ?
A flat piece of metal can’t be used as everything will fall off it. A wok has the simplest shape that you can imagine: round. The round shape means that all the ingredients always fall back into the middle of the pan where the heat is.