Seasoning the wok: This is an important first step for many dishes. Have a large, heat resistant bowl of oil near the wok before you start.

  1. Heat a clean wok over high heat until lightly smoking.
  2. Pour oil into wok and rotate to coat the wok. The oil should be smoking.
  3. Pour the oil back into the oil bowl.
  4. With the wok off the heat source, add new oil. This is the oil you will use for cooking.
  5. Return wok to heat, and cook.

Cold oil: Ingredients like dried chilies, Sichuan peppercorns and chili bean paste are frequently used to flavor cooking oil. However, they can burn very quickly resulting in an unpleasant flavor to the entire dish. To avoid burning them, season the wok, then reduce the temperature of the flame. Add cold oil to the wok, and add seasoning ingredients before return the wok to the heat. Once the wok is on the heat, stir seasonings quickly and constantly. Pay close attention and remove from heat very quickly when oil is at desired stage.

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