Wok Cooking 101
Stir-Frying on the Big Green Egg
Guest post by Shannon Morgan @BigGreenEggFoodie
Just like the Big Green Egg itself, wok cooking is extremely versatile … and loads of fun. Choose your protein, or make it a vegetarian meal. Cook diced chicken breast in the wok or toss in some EGG-smoked brisket along with any vegetables you have on hand.
Start with Your Favorite Ingredients
Protein: 1-2 cups of your choice of protein. Diced chicken breast or thighs, pork loin, steak, shrimp, pressed tofu or tempeh are all great choices. You can also use precooked meat, which will cut down on cooking time.
Veggies & other goodies: 3-4 cups of your choice of diced veggies. Snow peas, mushrooms, red pepper, onions, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy (separate diced stems from the leaves), Thai basil, spinach, zucchini, asparagus, pineapple, cashews are all great choices. Have fun; there is not right or wrong ingredient. Separate them into hard veggies (longest to cook like carrots, broccoli and cauliflower), medium (such as mushrooms, peppers, bok choy stems and asparagus) and soft (Thai basil, bok choy leaves and spinach).
Garlic and ginger: 2 tablespoons minced garlic and/or fresh ginger. Both are great, but if you don’t have ginger, go without.
Rice or noodles: 3-4 cups of cooked noodles such as wonton or ramen, or 3 cups of cooked rice. For fried rice, it must be cold cooked rice (it’s best to cook it the day before then store it in the refrigerator).
Sauce: A simple go to sauce is ½ cup low sodium soy sauce or tamari, ½ cup water, 1 tbsp brown sugar, sugar, or honey, 2 tbsp of toasted sesame oil, 2 tsp corn starch, and a couple pinches of red pepper flakes (optional). Want to change it up? Try adding in a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter or orange juice in place of the water. Blend well, especially if you are using the peanut butter.
Toppings: Black or white sesame seeds, thinly sliced green onions, cilantro, chopped peanuts, sliced chiles or sriracha are all good options.
Set the EGG for direct cooking (no convEGGtor) around 350°F/177°C. If you have a convEGGtor Basket (bottom part of the EGGspander), put the wok in the basket and place it in the EGG. If you don’t have an EGGspander, the wok can sit on the cooking grid. Leave the wok in the EGG to get hot, about 10 minutes. Close the draft door once you start cooking and have the dome open; the charcoal will be getting enough oxygen from the dome being open.
Add a couple of tablespoons of a high temperature oil (canola or avocado oil works great) around the bowl of the work (a plastic squirt bottle works great for this). Add in your protein (if raw) and cook for about 5-7 minutes, tossing frequently to get all of the edges nicely cooked. Don’t overcook your meat; residual cooking and the fact that we are adding it back into the wok later will allow it to finish cooking. If you are using precooked meat, you can skip this step. Remove the protein from the wok and set aside.
Add a bit more oil to the wok. Add in your firm vegetables first (such as carrots, broccoli and cauliflower); cook them for about 3 minutes. Add in the medium veggies (and rice if you are making fried rice) and cook them along with the hard veggies for about 3-4 minutes longer, allowing your rice to be “fried”. Add in the garlic and/or ginger and toss with the veggies. If you are using precooked meat add it in. Then add in the soft veggies, sauce and noodles if you are using them. Toss everything together and cook for about 1-2 minutes longer.
Carefully remove the wok from the EGG and place on a heat-safe surface; the wok will be very, very hot. Plate and add your toppings.
Once you understand the basics of wok cooking, you have unlimited cooking options … experiment and have fun with your flavors!
- Have all of your ingredients cut up and ready before you start cooking. Once you start, it goes very quickly.
- Keep the bottom vent closed because the dome will be open for most of the cook, providing enough oxygen for the charcoal to stay hot.
- If the EGG gets too hot, close the dome and the top vent to cut air and lower the temperature. Remember to burp the EGG when you reopen the dome!
- Have EGGmitts or silicone grill mitts handy as the wok gets very hot!
Make the Most of Your EGG with These Quick and Easy Stir-Fry Recipes
Shannon Morgan’s Big Green Egg cooking started, literally, as a trial by fire. As an avid home cook, she half-jokingly volunteered to cook at a local EGGfest in Southwest Florida, but only if she could grill vegetarian dishes. Much to her surprise, she was taken up on that offer. After impressing hungry attendees during a long, hot day of grilling carrot hotdogs (yep, carrots) covered in a vegan chili-cheese sauce, she was hooked on the Big Green Egg. A week later, she brought home her first EGG and her passion for grilling on the Big Green Egg has only continued to grow over the years. “Cooking on the Big Green Egg just makes everything taste better,” she says.