Who can become a “wok star”?
Anyone, says Eleanor Hoh, the force behind her Wok Star cooking classes. Hoh, born in China and raised in Hong Kong by a Portuguese mother, knew early on that if she was going to eat well while away from home (she was sent to a boarding school in England), she would have to cook for herself.
In came the wok, and she quickly learned a no-nonsense way to cook meals that were healthy and simple to prepare.
After years of cooking for herself and her family, Hoh recognized that families were getting away from the kitchen — because it was too time-consuming, or too complicated, or they believed they just couldn’t cook.
Hoh knew that she could help and, after teaching a few different types of classes, she perfected her technique and started the Wok Star cooking classes. They take place throughout the Miami area.
These classes teach students a no-recipe, no-measuring technique for one-dish dinners, with easy clean-up, that require just a few fresh ingredients and four seasonings.
Florida Food & Farm was invited in as a guest to one of her recent classes and joined a group of professionals (from the novice to the well-seasoned chef) at the stunning Boffi Studio Miami for a two-hour class that would teach us how to become a wok star — and, yes, it included wine.
After a brief introduction and an overview of the class, the true wok star, Hoh, chopped up the essentials (garlic and ginger are oh, so important here) and a few fresh vegetables with ease. Then she added spices and ground turkey and, within minutes, the group had gathered around a table salivating over her freshly made lettuce wraps.
The wok is indispensable to Hoh, who uses it for nearly everything she does in the kitchen — and she believes that anyone can master this technique. Her philosophy is to help people succeed when they start wok cooking.
That’s why she put together four essential components in a “Kit Bundle” to eliminate any obstacles to starting and succeeding. She has even pre-seasoned the wok for you. (Those in the know will understand the complexity of this.)
How to become a wok star
Take Eleanor’s Wok Star class.
Purchase her Wok Star kit.
Incorporate the four essential components into your cooking: high heat, the right wok, the right technique and quality ingredients.
Apply Eleanor’s no-recipe technique.
Add your own personal touch to your cooking.
Tips for cooking with a wok
If you can’t make it to Eleanor’s class, here are some basic tips to get you started.
- Invest in a lightweight, cast-iron wok.
- Use gas, rather than electric, heat.
- Season your wok properly. Eleanor actually sells a pre-seasoned wok on her website, so you don’t have to go through the trouble. Trust us: Seasoning a wok can be complicated.
- Heat your wok to the highest possible heat.
- Buy a good knife; it’s worth the money. And remember to sharpen it after every use. A sharp knife will actually decrease the likelihood that you’ll cut yourself.
- Use dry ingredients.