The 6 Tools This Wok Pro Loves for Whipping Up Fried Rice, Kung Pao Chicken, and More

updated Aug 18, 2020
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Grace Young's Wok Cooking Essentials graphic
Credit: The Wok Shop, Amazon

Have you heard the news? My book, Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge, is this month’s pick for the Kitchn Cookbook Club! In my unbiased opinion, I think you should follow along! It will be fun and you don’t really need a bunch of extra tools to participate. See, all you need is a wok or even a stainless steel skillet and you can totally enjoy my cookbook. Of course, having a few special tools will make your wok cooking sessions a bit easier and a lot more fun. A wok would clearly help (and I’ve got a separate post here about my all-time favorite pick), and so would these inexpensive tools. These are the six tools I swear by when it comes to whipping up a wicked fried rice or a Kung Pao chicken.

Credit: Amazon

1. A Good Knife

A good-quality, tempered steel knife is your BFF. I’ve had my Wüsthof chef’s knife forever and highly recommend it, but a Santoku or vegetable cleaver would work as well. It’s a personal choice: Your knife should feel balanced and comfortable to use. A heavier knife might not suit a small hand, and vice versa.

My pick: Wüsthof Classic 8-Inch Chef’s Knife, $150

Credit: Amazon

2. A Spatula

You know it’s the right spatula if it slips easily under food while cooking. My favorite is the old-fashioned, flexible metal pancake or fish spatula. Forget wooden ones because they’re too thick to slide under food and — believe it or not — the traditional Chinese shovel-shaped spatulas can scratch the wok. I’m not a fan of plastic or silicone and prefer metal.

My pick: JXWING Stainless Steel Fish Spatula, $10

Credit: The Wok Shop

3. A Wok Lid

Sometimes when you’re stir-frying you need to use a lid for a few seconds to help ingredients cook faster. Buy the lid when you buy the wok and test that it’s a snug fit. I prefer the domed type.

My pick: Domed Lid For 10-Inch Mini-Wok, $13 at Wok Shop

Credit: The Wok Shop

4. A Skimmer or Spider

Woven like a spider’s web, a 4-inch skimmer is ideal for scooping out cooked ingredients. I like the traditional bamboo handles, but stainless steel is dishwasher-friendly. A 7-inch spider handles noodles with ease.

My pick: 4-Inch Brass Skimmer, $5 at Wok Shop

Credit: Amazon

5. A Knife Sharpener

Sharp cooks have sharp knives! Invest in an affordable, simple electric model or splurge on a professional sharpener. My pick is an easy-to-use device, which has guides so there’s no need to worry about placing the knife at the correct angle and guarantees a sharp edge.

My pick: Work Sharp E2 Kitchen Sharpener, $50

Credit: HKTV Mall

6. A Negi Cutter

Negi is Japanese for scallion, so a Negi Cutter makes fine scallion julienne that’s so delicate, your friends will be amazed at your extraordinary knife skills.

My pick: Negi Cutter, $5 at Wok Shop

Grace Young’s Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge is Kitchn’s August pick for our Cookbook Club. See how you can participate here.