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Where in the DC area to buy an authentic wok?

One of my New Year's resolutions was to complete my array of cookware. I got a cast iron skillet for Christmas, but I need to get a WOK. I've heard that in almost every instance, the cheaper the better and likely more authentic. Where do you suggest that I got a real authentic wok?

Also, while we're at it, is there a kitchen supply store in the area?

Happy New Year!!

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  1. I did the rounds at Asian markets to find a cheap and "authentic" wok as a Christmas present for someone, but I wasnt satisfied by what i found--I couldnt tell what material they were (no labels) and I didnt like the handles. I also checked out williams-sonoma. You can get an all-clad wok for like 200 bucks. Ha! Absolutely ridiculous.

    I ended up getting a carbon steel wok (the most-often recommended surface) at target for like 20 bucks.

    1. Do you mean woks with the rounded bottoms where you have to use a wok ring? I would probably look online for one, especially one small enough to use on a standard western stove.

      As for "authentic", any wok made out of steel will work well if properly seasoned and if you get it hot enough. Mine's from IKEA (yes, the cheap one with the flat bottom) and has worked great after a few uses since it's got a nice seasoned coating on it.

        1. re: dining with doc

          Maxims Chinese grocery on Rockville Pike, for under 20 bucks. The one I got was stainless steel, which I like better than the carbon steel. The wok ring is about 3 bucks

          1. re: dining with doc

            No luck with Hmart Fairfax as of March 2013!

            1. if you are near NOVA, go to the great wall. They have the wok and all the accessories you might want.

              If you are near rockville, Maxim or the other chinese grocery (name escapes me now) about two block away carry a good selection.

              my two cents, my stove (most stoves) don't get hot enough. A good cast iron will work just as good if not better.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Soup

                I got an extra burner grate for my (gas) stove and cut out the middle so the wok sits just above the flame, not as high as it does with a wok ring. It works just fine. Every stove should be equipped with a "wok grate." ;)

                1. re: MikeR

                  I have a propane two-burner outdoor stove that I ordered through Home Depot for about $150. It puts out 150,000 btu's. The average kitchen stove burner only puts out around 15,000. It's called a Bayou Cooker, or something like that. Unless it's raining or too windy, I do all my frying, blackening and wok cooking on the back deck. Some things you just can't do properly without high heat. Best investment I ever made.

                  1. re: flavrmeistr

                    Wow! I think the furnace in my house is only 80,000 BTU. I've used a wok on one of those singler burner propane stoves like what comes with the turkey fryer kit and that worked
                    pretty well. I suppose that a commercial stove (some people have those in their home kitchen) would work well too. Whenever I cook something in the wok, the house smells like whatever I cooked for a couple of days. It really gums up my over-the-stove exhaust fan so I don't usually that when I'm "woking."

                    I saw a house in California that had what they called a "wok room" in the kitchen. It was sort of like a shower stall with a big exhaust fan over it. That's what I need.

                    1. re: MikeR

                      Yeah, this thing is a beast. The cast iron burners are larger than the turkey fryer and they have a venturi valve to adjust the gas mixture. A tank of propane will last an amazingly long time. You have to special order it online from Home Depot because they generally don't stock them in the store. It is a very simple, but heavy-duty apparatus. At about 150 bucks plus shipping, it is well worth the investment.

                2. re: Soup

                  On the pad thai episode of Good Eats, Alton uses his wok on a grill instead of the stove to get it hot enough.