Sunday, August 7, 2011

Insert Wok Pun Here:

I don't think the woman in front of me realized how close she was to bodily harm. She was tying up both registers, whining at all the Sur Le Table employees in earshot about how they had charged her for the free knife sharpening service (apparently it's only two per household, FYI). My frustration steadily built up toward a violent eruption and potential disaster. David and I had been in line for 15 minutes. We just wanted to buy our wok and get out. At that moment, I was contemplating bashing the bleating, obnoxious woman over the head with the wok and telling her to put on her big girl pants and sharpen her own damn knives.

Sharpening knives is not hard. Exhibit "A", David sharpening the Global.
[Note for commenters below: that is a ceramic sharpening stick for a Japanese Global,
not honing steel for a German knife. We know the difference. Look closely.]

Rewind a bit to earlier in the day. David and I were searching for dinner recipes. We'd been gifted with some very pretty bok choy, and were trying to find a nice recipe to use it in. We were already thinking Chinese because of the bok choy, but I will take any excuse to make a dish using crunchy water chestnuts. David decided he wanted to try moo goo gai pan, and we realized that we were lacking a wok. Among other things.

Kevin's pretty Bok Choy

So we (eventually) got the wok, heat diffuser, oyster sauce, multitude of other Chinese sauces, dry sherry, mushrooms, and miscellaneous other ingredients for our moo goo gai pan. Stir fry can be as simple or complicated as you would like to make it. In our case, it was more of the latter. Once we got the mise en place out of the way, things came together rather quickly, but the prep still took about an hour of both of us working together.

Beverage pairing: Fancy Tripel Hop Duvel

Were you aware that a new steel wok will most likely be coated with a toxic lacquer to keep the metal from oxidizing while sitting on the store shelf, and that almost unnoticeable, plasticky film needs to be removed before cooking in it to avoid poisoning your family? Good to know.

David and I followed this recipe to the letter (with the addition of the bok choy), and it came out wonderfully. I'd say it was worth the wok and the wait.

Wokka Wokka


  1. Great post, love your blog, but honing is not the same as sharpening. You use a steel to hone your blade, occasionally you will need to get them sharpened. Despite my love of gadgets, I don't sharpen my own knives, I have them done professionally.

    Looks like a nice Wok. My wife was adamant about not getting a non-stick work. I insisted on a non-stick. Shortly after the purchase, I was buying a nice steel wok (like yours) since the non-stick was history.

  2. You're actually demonstrating honing. Sharpening can be done at home, but the best edges are done by a professional. Probably wouldn't put sur la table employees under that title.

  3. @bsherm and Anonymous

    Thanks for commenting, but we know the difference between honing and sharpening. That is a ceramic sharpener we bought just for the Global.

    And before you follow up with another "well, actually," yes, it does look like a honing steel, but no, it really is sharpening. It removes metal.


I try to be honest, fair and keep a good sense of humor in my posts--I would appreciate if you follow the same policy with your comments.