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Q&A

How can I avoid fried rice always sticking to my wok?

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picture of woks

Food keeps sticking to my pan, and my fry pan is too shallow! When I stir fry rice, for ex., some rice always flies out the pan! Also, the rice cooks onto the bottom of the pan when I fry it and it's hard to clean.

I am using an induction burner and a Zwilling wok; I picked Zwilling because I heard they're the best. Full disclosure...I'm not affiliated with Zwilling. I don't know why, but Zwilling makes only two woks with a handle on the other side. Forte 30 cm / 12 inch Aluminum Wok doesn't work because it's aluminum and that doesn't work on an induction burner.

The only option is Vista Clad 30 cm / 12 inch 18/10 Stainless Steel Wok. How can I be more successful in cooking my fried rice without sticking and making a mess?

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3 comments

That food sticks to your stainless steel pan / wok isn't something too uncommon. Could you add if you use oil, please? Thanks. Zerotime‭ 4 months ago

I suggest you drop all the stuff about "aluminium doesn't work on induction hobs" - it's not really relevant to whether stainless steel woks necessarily stick. Martin Bonner‭ 4 months ago

@Zerotime Yes, I use oil. But food still sticks. PSTH‭ 4 months ago

1 answer

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Use lots of oil, use the wok only for frying, don't use soap, and cook over medium heat.

Butter and oil always help prevent food from sticking to a pan, but it's even more effective to build up a layer of old polymerized oils and dump fresh oil on top of that. You can build up the polymerized layer by repeated use: every time you coat the pan with oil and then heat the pan, the layer gets a bit stronger. If you have a cast iron pan the process is called "seasoning the pan" but it works with stainless too. If you use your seasoned pan for anything other than frying, though, you can un-season it... I make curry in my frying pan sometimes, and it takes a day or two of oil-only use until my eggs won't stick to it in the morning. Same idea with boiling water. Also, you are not supposed the wash seasoned pans with soap. Soap's only goal is to grab fat molecules and carry them away, so it will eat into your polymerized oil layer. Just scrub the pan clean with water and dry over high heat to kill all the microbes.

The advice about medium heat is rice-specific. It is a fragile grain and it will disintegrate all over your pan if you ask too much of it. I have never been able to fry fresh-boiled rice; I need to set it in the fridge and let it gas out for a day or so before I fry it.

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1 comment

Seconded on the rice; my fried rice works much better, all other factors being equal, if my rice is a day old rather than fresh-made. Monica Cellio‭ 4 months ago

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