The first time I seasoned a wok without problems, I used this recipe, which I learned at the Hung Chong wok shop in New York's Chinatown. Make sure the chives are very dry after washing to prevent the oil from spattering. One bunch of scallions cut into 3-inch pieces and 1/2 cup sliced ginger can be substituted for the chives in this recipe. Scallions and ginger are said to remove the wok's metallic taste. Smell the wok after seasoning ? the metal will have a strong fragrance from the aromatics.
- 1/2 bunch Chinese chives (about 7 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
Wash the inside and outside of the wok with hot water, using a stainless-steel scrubber and liquid dishwashing soap. Rinse with hot water. Dry the wok with paper towels, and then place over low heat 1 to 2 minutes until the pan is totally dry. Cut the chives into 2-inch pieces.
Open the window and turn the exhaust fan on high. Heat the wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes with 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the oil and add the chives. Reduce the heat to medium and stir-fry 5 minutes, pushing the mixture up the sides of the wok to the edge. If the mixture becomes dry, add additional tablespoons of oil. Remove from the heat. Cool. Discard the chives. The wok is seasoned and ready for cooking.
Wash wok with hot water. Dry over low heat, 1 to 2 minutes.