Cleaning Your Wok

Whenever you use a carbon steel wok, it is so important to clean the pan soon after you are done.  When you've plated your food, take the wok to your sink and wipe off any oil, sauce or food residue with a paper towel.  No food or oil should go down your drain.  Do be careful when handling it from the stove because the wok will be quite hot. 

Turn on your hot water and begin scraping your wok thoroughly.  Whatever you do, DON'T use any soap or detergent to clean the wok.  Doing so will remove the nonstick seasoning. 

As soon as you're done, wipe the wok dry and return it to your burner.  Turn your flame on to high and let the wok get totally dry.  This should take less than a minute.  Now you can turn your flame off and add a teaspoon or so of the same cooking oil you used.  Wipe the entire surface of your wok and let it sit until it cools off.

If you follow these simple steps at the end of your wok use, there won't be any need to worry about the pan getting rusted.  This will keep it clean, nonstick and ready for your next endeavor.  If for some reason you do find rust spots here and there, simply use a clean scouring pad and remove the stains.  Then add some oil and rub it into the affected area.  Using a wok shouldn't intimidate you or keep you from trying a recipe calling for one.  They're inexpensive (around $20 or so for one), easy to use and come in many sizes.  I highly recommend getting one that's at least 14" in diameter.  Quite frankly, it's a very versatile cooking vessel and one that should be in everyone's kitchen.