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Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Ha, ha so true! I used to start my stir fries with the classic method of adding the ginger and/or garlic to the oil before the food--but on high heat, that just DUN'T work!

Now with high, high heat, I add the ginger, and particularly garlic, almost at the very end--it's the only way to get the flavor without incinerating the ginger and gariic for sure...!

about 22 hours ago
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Another great site (better than any recipe book) where I learned a LOT about Chinese cooking at home is Tigers & Strawberries. Barbara the woman who made the site no longer updates it or contributes new recipes, but it's still all up and her recipes are archived. I highly recommend it to learn a lot of Chinese cooking basics. She covers so many things for newbies to learn--ranging from marinating meat in Shaoxing, to making sure you hunt down Koon Chun brand sauces (their Ground Bean is phenomenal, and their Thick Soy Sauce is essential for making 1950's style fried rice for baby boomers!) And of course she introduced me to Chinkiang vinegar--Gold Plum brand, the best, in particular.

And I still think Barbara's Kung Pao sauce recipe is the best I have ever used...!

You can find Barbara's site at:

http://www.tigersandstrawberries.com/

1 day ago
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Ha! That's what got me started on this path some 7 years or so ago--bought a new carbon steel wok, and then stir fried and my beautiful shiny silver wok was all dirty and I scrubbed and scrubbed, but it was still sorta dirty... I struggled with that first wok and then threw it away, embarrassed and bought a new non-stick one that made terrible tasting food even with expensive (and sugary) bottled sauce!

Ha,ha! I knew I was doing something wrong, so decided to investigate, and then learned and learned. And I agree that this site has been so helpful... Once you get a well seasoned wok and learn some Chinese basic, it's so wonderful (and healthy) to make tasty dishes all on your own!

1 day ago
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

From what I have read, these totally hand manufactured woks were never a big deal for home cooks in China--the market for these truly hand hammered woks were the restaurant cooks, who sweat by their durability; some would last up to 6 months they claim, whereas the spun and stamped woks sometimes are shot (deformed, thin on the bottom) after only a couple of months.

Those intense jets of fire and massively high BTU's really take a fast, hard toil on carbon steel.

Why even the restaurants have stopped buying these hand made woks, their biggest buyers, I don't know...?

2 days ago
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

After blabbing about wok seasoning here, and since a picture is worth a thousand words--I just snapped some pics of my latest wok. It's a flat bottomed Joyce Chen wok a friend picked out. The wok is about ready to go home with her for tasty, no-stick stir fries.

This wok is two weeks old. I initially de-lacquered and then seasoned it all in one afternoon, and have since stir fried in it for a total of 11 times. It's seasoning up nicely (to the point where after stir fries you don't even have to wash with water--only wipe well with paper towels; this leaves a little residue to burn on during the next stir fry and seasons the wok well and FAST). It's starting to produce wok hei on high heat, which is when I now the initial start-up seasoning is just about over.

So anyway, here's my latest wok seasoning project, inside and out (yes, I season the outside as well):

2 days ago
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Sounds like a good method--and again somebody else who has found that Young's basic method is too sparse--takes at least several times of her application to work decently.

Here is a video of Grace Young seasoning in her basic method with scallions AND ginger:

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

I don't even get into the Chinese chives on these forums--they work great (though scallions are pretty close), and I can buy them at all the Asian markets near my home, but most have absolutly NO access to them....

Jul 28, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Tim, it's all up to you--but what I often do is if the wok is oven safe (no wood or removable wood handles, or wrap them in wet towels and foil), I do 4 or so very thin coats of peanut oil (inside the wok and outside it) in the oven; the oven coats normally turn the wok an even all over bronze. After the oven coats, I slowly rotate the whole wok over an open flame (I like to use the outdoor propane burner for this), and heat every square inch of the wok until it smokes wildly and turns medium brown. You can also forgo the oven, and swath the whole wok in oil and start right over the flame, burning the oil right in--but's much hotter and smokier and best down outdoors.

Then I set the wok normally on the burner, and heat. When the center is HOT, I drop in peanut oil and rub all over the bottom third with wadded paper towels--and it smokes! Let the wok cool and do it again. After 4 or 5 times, the bottom of the wok should now be very dark brown.

I finish the seasoning by a couple of stir fries of scallions and plenty of ginger over medium heat (NOT hot), smashing the veggies into the woks surface with a wok spatula, all over the interior of the wok. This helps to get rid of the oil taste and the fatty taste from fresh and developing seasoning. The ginger helps to give the seasoning a good flavor head start.

Lastly, I will often stir fry a regular onion or two, switching from high heat to a lower heat--until the onions are charred black. As an added bonus that really helps develop a RICH seasoning early on, for the last six woks or so that I have seasoned, after all the veggie seasoning stir fries, I stir fry on medium heat a pound of diced thick cut bacon, smashing it into the sides and all parts of the wok's interior, until the bacon is almost black. After removing the bacon, I leave some of the grease, and heat it on high until smoking, and then rub it all over and into the wok with wadded paper towels.

This all usually takes me an afternoon and a half or so (say 4 hours total). The end result is a great start in seasoning, and over high heat (outdoor wok burner), I often have an almost black wok within six months to a year that produces great wok hei (that's when, unless I'm really attached, I find them homes with friends that are always raving over my Chinese food)...

Jul 27, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

First and foremost--I adore all of Grace Young's books, and I own them all and love them all for the recipes (Jamaican stir fried shrimp with rum is a favorite around here), and the history and wonderful anecdotes.

However, Grace and I part ways on wok seasoning. Her explanation for cleaning and seasoning a new carbon steel wok wok is simplistic at best, and completely does not address the lacquer coating that is applied to the vast majority of new woks sold (wash with soap and a scrub pad are her basic instructions for "the factory coating"). Her basic wok seasoning technique of stir frying scallions and ginger to get just a hint of brown on the bottom of your new wok will work, but it will take years for the average home wok user (with an average home range) to get a decently seasoned wok following these methods, unless you are using the wok 4-6 times per day as a Chinese family might be doing (and this is where her seasoning instructions stem from).

This simplistic seasoning approach (particularly over meager powered stoves,) while easy and 15 minute quick, will I'm afraid leave your early stir fries rather bland, and often with a faint fatty oily taste that is not particularly distasteful, but certainly adds nothing to your dish such as a more seasoned surface can (wok hei not only comes from high heat, but a well seasoned surface as well).

The secret for average wok users (once a week or so), is to make "seasoning shortcuts" by getting the wok--or at least the bottom third of the wok--as dark as you can as fast as you can--ideally medium brown/bronze/mahogany in the first day or two of dedicated seasoning. Many ways to do this--in the oven, on the stove, stir frying onions and ginger--there are many videos on YouTube to help you find your best method.

But the bottom line is that investing an afternoon or two to get your new wok as dark as possible will pay off big time--helping you to move faster toward obtaining that UUMMPPHHH! of flavor only a well seasoned metal surface can give. By starting with dark seasoning blotches early on, the carbonization process (where the brown mahogany turns black and becomes slick and non-stick and adds incredible wok hei and flavor--and this can take years to achieve for average users) is achieved that much faster...!

Good true seasoning (as our American grandmothers taught us with cast iron skillets) does take years of just regular use and build up, but you can get there that much faster by getting your wok darker that much sooner...!

Jul 27, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

<I would think organic solvent such as acetone should be good for removing lacquer coating.>

Yeah, I thought so too--would involve less heat and hot oil and than the other methods of getting the lacquer off... Still like the oven cleaner idea someone posted too...

Jul 27, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

That sounds like lacquer, not oil. You can tell lacquer because it's not oily and it makes the metal MATTE. After you remove the lacquer, suddenly the metal is shiny...

Oiled woks are oily and grimy and messy, and get black oil all over you hands, and they are shiny before you wash them, and shiny afterwards too. They are never matte.

The point is--I wonder if the acetone is a good method for lacquered woks...?

Jul 27, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Wow, never had a oiled wok (out of a dozen...?) that didn't come clean and oil free with an SOS pad or two, maybe followed by some Dawn and elbow grease...

I agree the lacquer is a royal hassle; though I've de-lacquered so many woks and pans now, it seems almost second nature--whatever the process: oven boiling, heating and rubbing with hot oil...

Good Luck!

Jul 27, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware
1

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

If you have a nice flame for a round bottom, by all means you chose correctly! Beautiful hand made wok that you can admire the hand hammered marks and enjoy its performance for years! That is a great and rare joy in any cookware! How special...!

Yamada makes a fine wok, but it is pressed (mass produced), and if you can find a 36cm (14") flat bottom Yamada in the USA, let us know where--I never could find one here, and even the Japanese suppliers--who where hesitant about international shipping--kept telling me that the 36cm was all sold out in Japan, don't know when it will be back...?

Jul 25, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Here's my two cents after using and owning not only an extensive collection of woks (22 so far), but a big collection of spatulas and ladles--and using them together (and from watching hours of YouTube videos)...

As CK mentioned, restaurant chefs use ladles almost exclusively as they are measuring out seasoning ingredients from big open bowls with them (they need to work very quickly at the high temps they are using). I don't do this at home--I keep my soy and oyster sauces in the bottles they came in, and measuring my sauces out into small Chinese condiment bowls, and then toss in when stir frying. So that use of the ladle doesn't work for me at home at all...

Also, I've stir fried on varying heat sources ranging from 5K to 100,000K BTUs, and on the higher sources (outside on my propane wok burner), you need more oil (as it just vaporizes quickly at the those higher temps), and things stick to wok's surfaces much less--even the seasoning will start to burn off at temps over 50,000K (but in restaurants, when you might be using the wok 100+ times per day, it will season itself in a matter of hours). The ladle works much better at these higher temps when nothing sticks, and in the round bottom woks can actually contribute to the "dance" feeling a little bit...

But for most home uses, I much, much prefer the wok spatula. I mostly cook outdoors on my propane wok burner set to about 35,000K BTUs--what I consider the ideal sweet spot for my stir fries. Not so hot that things will burn unless you are in constant motion, but hot enough to easily create great wok hei in a 14" wok. I like to let my meat caramelize ala Grace Young for 20-30 seconds on each side (BIG fan of the Maillard reaction), and the spatula is much better for digging under the meat and then turning it over in even layers. If you are tossing and "POWING", the spatula isn't as crucial while stir frying, and the ladle can work well too.

For indoors, on the lower temp electrical range with the my flat bottom woks, where things tend to stick a bit more, I consider the ladles just about worthless, except maybe on my very oldest woks with highly seasoned surfaces that stick less. On the lower heat ranges, with flat bottom woks (or even round bottoms on lower heat gas ranges), the wok spatula is imperative in my humble opinion...!

It's also just a matter of what feels right, and stir fry affectionados should try everything and see what they prefer. I know Grace Young likes to use a fish spatula, and I've tried that and it works well, but really do like my wok spatula most of all (specifically the smaller one with a bamboo handle I got at Sur La Table!)

Hope this helps...

Jul 25, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

JoanN, I think you'll prefer the round bottom wok in the end--the food moves and "dances" better in them, and I think they get hotter, too. Something about the round shape that captures more of the heat.

I love the versatility and convenience of my flat bottom woks, but it's just more joyous and, well, FUN, to stir fry in the round bottom...! Make sure you have a wok spatula (chuan), as they really sing in the round bottoms.

Jul 24, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

The ultimate way to season cast iron, per Cook's Illustrated

"I did use the pan at relatively high heat, which I feel may have contributed (my current seasoning holds up to high heat usage, OTOH)."

IME high heat really reinforces seasoning, and has never caused flaking. At VERY high temps, like over 750F, you might loose some seasoning to it's smoke point, but I've really found that at home stove high temps--600F and under, seasoning is really strongly reinforced. I think it accelerates the carbonization bond.

And this is only if you are using oil too; lotsa people think that seasoned metal is truly a non-stick substitute and that they will be able to use it with less, or even NO oil, which I think evaporates seasoning REAL fast. CI or CS is not a great substitute for low fat non-stick cooking...! If you want to cook with no fat, ceramic or the classic non-stick are really your only options. Once you get a good established seasoning going, you can use less fat, but always need a little with seasoned metals.

Jun 27, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware
1

The ultimate way to season cast iron, per Cook's Illustrated

No, it isn't, but I have thought about trying their wok--I have bought, seasoned and used 15 woks in the last 6 years, and have finally settled on a classic Taylor & Ng blue steel (aka "pre-seasoned") round bottom that has turned black over my high power outside propane wok burner.

The Debuyer wok has an interesting shape for a round bottom, and their skillets--while hard to initially start a good seasoning on--have preformed superlatively; they are thick as heck for CS though, and like CI you need to lower the heat down.

Jun 25, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

The ultimate way to season cast iron, per Cook's Illustrated

Yes, if you are allergic to sou, that is BIG problem with the pre-seasoning. Although I have also heard people more expert than I comment that by the time the oil is burnt off, and starting to turn black and carbonize, any and and all allergens are long since gone, so who knows...?

Flakey seasoning comes from too thick of coats of oil--that is why Canter stresses in her article to wipe all the oil off the pan--to the point where you don't think the faintest coating is enough at all (you can tell when it is too thick as it will pool up and burn on in little round shapes). Again I have had only 3 pieces of Lodge (including a wok) and they all seasoned easily and durably over the factory coating, particularly my "steak" pan that I make blackened steaks in (this little 9" pan routinely gets red hot to 700F, where the seasoning is starting to burn off before the steak is added.But you add the steak and it smokes like hell and in the end not only makes a tasty carnivore meal, but does the most incredible seasoning too!)

Really though, I don't use the cast iron too much anymore--I much prefer carbon steel now. A little more work than cast iron, but my DeBuyer skillets deliver better flavor and better non-stick properties than the CI, I am convinced. And my wok is my best buddy stir frying machine!

Jun 25, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

The ultimate way to season cast iron, per Cook's Illustrated

Wow, I can't believe you removed the veggie pre-seasoning that Lodges does on their cooware--I consider it a great start, a basis for all future seasonings. I implore new Ci users buying Lodge to NOT remove it--it's a very smooth and evenly applied veggie oil that has been burned on. Just season on top of Lodge's pre-seasoning and be that much closer to your goal of glassy CI (which is TRUE seasoning and only comes with years of regular use--no such thing as oven flaxed shortcuts--just good beginnings!)

After a few years of regular usage, your rough Lodge's will smooth out considerably. Maybe not Griswold machined smooth, but much smoother!

The first thing, and biggest difference with Griswold you will notice if you do so purchase one, is how much lighter they are than the much more crudely made Lodge ware. They all get the job done, but with the older cast iron, you can really see the much higher level of craftsmanship with the construction. My 12" Griswold skillet only weighs 60% of what my friends 12" Lodge does...!

Jun 24, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Will my Staub "perfect pan" function as a true wok with induction?

Check out the Country Fry pans by De Buyer, made of carbon steel. I think Williams Sonoma carries them among others.

They do have to be seasoned, but are the perfect dimensions you are looking for (I have been lusting after one myself for some time!) My De Buyer mineral skillets get used all the time and I always reach for them before my cast iron (Griswold mainly). Once seasoned, everything out of them is delicious, particularly eggs and potatoes...

Below is a picture of the 12" model with the helper handle:

May 19, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Will my Staub "perfect pan" function as a true wok with induction?

Don't worry about the shape--I have used flat bottom and round bottom cast iron and carbon steels woks, as well as Griswold cast iron skillets and De Buyer carbon steel skillets and they can all make varying tasty stir fries that don't stick.
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But what they have in common is the ability to get really, really hot (as in 600F+ hot). Enamel can take this heat occasionally, but it's just not a good or practical to expect it to do this on a regular basis without damage.

Use this gorgeous pan for it's best purposes--sautéing over medium-high heat and for braising. And it makes GREAT popcorn too...!

For really good stir fries you need heat, heat and more heat and metal cookware that can take this heat...!

May 18, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Wok Seasoning 101 (Carbon Steel)

I wrote this out for someone on Amazon, but thought it might help more people if posted here on CHOW...

Seasoning carbon steel is very similar to cast iron--many ways and many theories (YouTube videos are great for this). Carbon steel takes a little more work and effort when seasoning compared to cast iron, but I feel the taste and flavor from my carbon steel woks and carbon steel skillets surpasses my thin walled Chinese cast iron woks and my Griswold and Lodge cast iron skillets.

What's nice about the USA made woks (formerly known as the "Atlas" brand name) sold by The Wok Shop is that they are shipped slathered with machine oil, and not with a lacquer coating like most modern woks from China and Taiwan (the lacquer must be either boiled, burned, or baked off, and is much hard to remove than the old fashioned machine oil such as this wok has). This means you just have to wash this wok very well with soapy water and preferably an SOS Brillo type pad, and then do the initial seasoning.

I say "initial" seasoning as truly seasoning a metal surface (wether a carbon steel wok or a cast iron skillet) takes some time and comes from real world use--with weekly use a year or so makes a wok much more non-stick and enhances the flavor of dishes; with more frequent use around 6 months. For the initial seasoning (so food does not cement to the surface when hot and so the wok does not rust), what is easiest is recommended by Ms. Chan of the Wok Shop (her video is on YouTube): Remove the long wooden handle (unscrew the hanging rod), wrap the smaller non-removable helper handle in wet towels and foil, and then coat the entire wok in a thin layer of oil (peanut oil has worked the best for me, though many modern cooks swear by expensive flax seed oil and traditional Chinese use raw lard--but NOT the hydrogenated lard in US supermarkets), and then bake upside down in the oven at as high of a temperature as possible (550F is great) for thirty minutes. You can do 2-3 coats like this, letting the wok cool down in between coats. The wok should be bronze to mahogany in color when finished.

For an easy finish, after the oven baked coats, stir fry some green onions/scallions over medium heat, working to smash and rub the scallion bits into every part of the wok's interior surface to help remove the initial "bland oily" taste from brand new seasoning, or even metallic taste (if the oven seasoning was only one scattered coat or not baked long enough). Cook the onions until charred. You are then good to go to cook meals in the wok if you are looking for the fastest and easiest route. Traditional Chinese have no ovens, so this stir fry with fresh lard and Chinese chives is the complete initial seasoning. It also the seasoning process most recommended by "Breath Of The Wok" author Grace Young.

For more advanced seasoning (ideally on a gas range), before the first scallion stir fry (or ideally Chinese Chives--but they are hard to find), heat the wok on the burner until very hot, and then move the wok all around the flame, holding it in place over the flame--heating until every inch of the wok has smoked and the color burns in much darker all over. After this, wipe the entire wok's surface with a thin coat of oil and repeat the heating/oiling all over again if you really want to get a head start on the seasoning. Note that this can be a hot smoky ordeal, and some may not want to go through this added process, but it will get your wok's seasoning a better head start.

To "turbo-ize" my seasoning along, after darkening over an open flame and burning on a few coats of oil, I follow the initial scallion stir fry with a few more stir fries of either green onions or regular onions, BUT with plenty of chopped ginger added. After all these veggie stir fries, I cook one pound of chopped bacon in the wok until is is CHARRED black, and the wok is smoking (I swirl and make sure the bacon fat gets all over the wok's interior). All of this is not necessary for the initial seasoning as I have stated, but is an addition that will greatly speed up the seasoning of your wok in terms of making better tasting dishes sooner. Use as little oil as possible when doing these initial seasonings and seasoning stir fries as if you get coats of oil too thick it can be gummy or the seasoning can flake off down the road, when using the wok, often taking all of the seasoning with it--down to the raw metal; but these spots of silver steel can be touched up with spot seasoning, not to worry.

All newly seasoned woks will have food (protein and starch) stick a little at times, so using a bit more oil for the first few months can help, particularly with lean meats and noodles (if something does stick. soak the interior of the wok in hot water while you eat, and if it still won't come up, use a paste of oil and kosher salt to scrub it smooth and clean). Also it not uncommon to have the initial seasoning--if you worked to get it dark early on--fade with regular use (after all that work!), so for the first year or so, you might need to touch up your wok's initial seasoning. But some don't even work early on for darker color, and they just use the wok with an initial oven baked single coat (to prevent rust) and watch the color slowly, slowly develop.

I tend to be impatient and like to have an almost black, glossy, non-stick carbon steel wok after only a couple of years of use (rather than a decade); the sort of established seasoning where, when heating up for cooking, an odor hits your nose as the wok starts to smoke--a delectable odor that smells faintly of ginger, sweet onions or spicy peppers and cumin--scrumptious previous stir fry delights. The added flavor a nicely aged and seasoned wok can add is incredible and I am hooked!

May 18, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Hand Hammered Wok from E-Wok Review

Yeah, they are gone now...

You can still get a hand made wok, from Williams Sonoma, called the "artisan wok" ($99).

Apr 25, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Need help with seasoning new wok -- tough plasticy coating?

That's a great tip--do you just spray on and then scrub, or did you let it set...?

Apr 22, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Need help with seasoning new wok -- tough plasticy coating?

And it's so much easier with shopping on the internet; in the old days when you wanted a wok--ya' went to Chinatown!

Apr 22, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Need help with seasoning new wok -- tough plasticy coating?

I do prefer the machine oil--as long as you can shop like you do in at The Wok Shop in SF; where the woks are displayed (often seasoned), and then, and only then, when you choose, do they bring forth the oily, messy and filthy wok for you to deal with.

There was a drawback to the machine oiled woks--I remember those days, shopping in Chinatown, or even going into a Sur La Table, and if you touched the woks at all you had to find a sink to wash your hands before lunch, or getting back into the car--and you often got that dirty oil on your arms and clothes... Wok shopping was much messier with the oiled woks. I remember when shopping in Chinatown meant old jeans and t-shirts as it was going to be a dirty endeavor...!

I had a friend who worked at a Williams Sonoma at one point, and the employees used to hate to have to deal with anything of raw steel because of the oil....

Apr 22, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Need help with seasoning new wok -- tough plasticy coating?

I think they are "food safe" coatings, but the biggest issue if you don't remove is that you will never get down to the steel and therefore never start the seasoning process...

Or rather, you think you are, but then a few weeks or more into use, your wok--as the lacquer finally starts to let go due to the heat of use--will get flaking and peeling of your "seasoning" into your food--but what is really going on is that the lacquer is finally coming off, along with seasoning you started on the wok...! I read so many negative reviews about carbon steel cookware where people have given woks and skillets very low ratings because of this exact scenario. Truly manufacturers have failed consumers by not explaining the coating process and how to remove in more detail.

It's just time consuming to remove the lacquer--but take the step and start with raw steel as you should. You can tell when the lacquer is removed as the cookware will no longer be shiny, but duller and more matte silver toned and you can SMELL the steel if you stick you nose close to the cookware; a great tip as the lacquer covers up all the smell of raw unseasoned steel. After seasoning you should smell--for lack of better description--an oily smell, but never steel-ee or metallic.

The secret to the coating removal is heat and then scouring pads--bake in a hot oven for half an hour, or boil water in the cookware for 40 minutes, or, as the chefs in Chinese restaurants do, heat the cookware over a high flame until it changes color (as the lacquer is burned off), and then goes back to lighter gray in color. After the heat treatment of choice, scour with stainless pads but good, and then season.

After you taste a dish prepared in a good seasoned wok, you will appreciate all the work that goes into the beginning of the seasoning process...!

Apr 22, 2014
toddster63 in Cookware

Japanese Yamada Woks...?

I need to call them, but I think they only carry the Yamada handled woks in the more classic Peking, or Beijing, style that is still too round for most electrical stoves (though it is flatter in profile than the classic Cantonese round profile).

The Yamada I am seeking is truly FLAT bottomed and ideal for flat stove surfaces. Picture of this great wok below:

Apr 21, 2014
toddster63 in Los Angeles Area

Yamada Woks...?

Yeah, I have 3 SS (Esuesu) woks, and they are great, but while they have a traditional flatter Peking pan profile (as opposed to totally round traditional Cantonese wok shape), they are not truly flat bottom in shape. I do love how fast they seasoned though--black, black in just an hour and much better taste, or "Wok Hei", than most other carbon steal woks from day 1 too...! I have often speculated that their blue steel really is something special...

Now Yamada makes the rounder bottomed Peking pan too, but they also make a truly flat bottom shape that is just ideal for electrical stoves.

Picture of the hand hammered Yamada I am talking about:

Apr 21, 2014
toddster63 in San Francisco Bay Area

Japanese Yamada Woks...?

Does anyone know of anyone (fine Japanese goods) that carries the hand hammered Yamada woks from Japan?

They make a hand hammered flat bottomed wok that is just PERFECT for electrical stoves, but I can't find anyone in Japan willing to ship,and some Japanese sellers only sell the rounded bottomed Yamadas on Ebay...?

Apr 16, 2014
toddster63 in Los Angeles Area

Yamada Woks...?

Thanks so much--great ideas. I tried them both and they only carry cheapo Chinese woks... Still don't understand why is it so hard to find high end Japanese goods in the Bay Area...? L.A. isn't overflowing, but has a much better selection than NorCal...!

Apr 16, 2014
toddster63 in San Francisco Bay Area