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Getting Started

To cook along with us you really only need to do three things:

  1. Get The Book: The Breath of a Wok, by Grace Young
  2. Get A Wok: Grace recommends a flat-bottomed, 14″ carbon-steel wok with a long wooden handle. DO NOT BUY A NON-STICK WOK. They’re not worth your money!
  3. Join The Facebook Group: While we host Wok Wednesdays here on the blog, most of the discussion happens in our Facebook group. There you can connect with fellow wokkers, ask questions, and share photos.

Seasoning your new wok – There are great instructions in The Breath of a Wok on how to season your new carbon-steel wok, but these videos might help make the process a little clearer: and

Here are some great resources for quality, inexpensive woks and some of Grace’s favorite Asian pantry staples:

To get you started stir-frying watch this video to learn some of the basics:
and this one from The Kitchn:


12 responses »

  1. Reading up on woks I’m so bummed mine is stainless steel. I won’t get that lovely black seasoned look. 😦

  2. Decided to buy a carbon steel wok. Should I also purchase a lid for it?

    • I got a lid for my wok and I use it exclusively to make popcorn. Its definitely not necessary, but they’re not too expensive. I’m going to put up a post on making popcorn in your wok soon – its super easy and it helps with the seasoning, so a lid might come in handy.

      – Matt

  3. Can’t wait to make popcorn! Thanks Matt!

  4. I bought a 14 inch carbon steel wok through The Wok Shop. It arrived yesterday and the seasoning went extremely well. I used the oven baking method (twice) and followed up by stir-frying scallions and ginger on the stovetop. The wok looks magnificent and I couldn’t be happier with it. I’m looking forward to cooking through Grace’s book.

  5. I just bought a carbon steel wok from The Wok Shop. The seasoning sent great. My wok is so pretty. When I cooked my first dish, garlic spinach, I could smell the ginger from the seasoning process. I can’t wait to catch up with all of you.

  6. I have a wok I bought in my college days- over 40 years old now, but it’s gotten a little gunky. Can you recommend the best way to clean it?

    • Hey Gisele! You should try a “wok facial”. Heat your wok on high heat until it is screaming hot – a drop of water should vaporize within a second or two of touching the pan. Remove it from the heat and add two tablespoons of oil (peanut, vegetable, avocado) and one tablespoon of coarse Kosher salt. Take a thick wad of paper towels (be careful, the pan is hot) and rub the salt and oil all into the sides and bottom of the wok. Rinse it under hot water to remove all the salt and wipe dry. That should even out the patina and remove any extra oil or gunk.

      If stuff is really baked on there you may need to scour it with a scouring pad and re-season it.

  7. Pingback: Wok Wednesdays – Giveaway

  8. Hi Matt, Sorry for the email. I found this and you’ve already answered all my questions! Thank you.

  9. “I love my wok because when I use it right it sings to me: It is music to my ears; delicious flavors and fragrances to my other senses!”

  10. I just purchased my first cast iron wok from the Wok Shop in San Francisco (purchased it in person!!!!!). It should be arriving tomorrow or Monday. Soooooo, looking forward to the first round of seasoning and might just make chicken wings as my first dish.


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