Admit it, you probably got at least one wok as a wedding present or a random gift from somebody who exalts the health benefits of stir-frying. And now it’s taking up a lot of space in a cupboard or closet because you never figured out how to cook with a round wok on a flat stovetop. WokMon can help out!
Currently still in the fund-raising stage, WokMon is the invention of Glen Lee. By day, Glen is a working actor who has been in films like Big Trouble in Little China, The Departed, Arbitrage(with Richard Gere) and the soon-to-be-released Tracers(with Taylor Lautner), as well as on TV shows and commercials. But in his free time, Lee is an inventor having already come up with the world’s first mechanical chopsticks which he called EZ-Sticks.
His latest brainchild claims to cure many of the problems associated with indoor stir-frying in the home. First, the WokMon serves as a wok ring to balance the rounded bottom of the pan over the flat gas burner of your stovetop. I’ve used cast iron wok rings before, and they certainly do provide a more stable working and woking environment for cooking with splattering hot oil.
But the real health benefits from stir-frying come from the fact that you actually can use very little oil to cook with if you can superheat the cooking surface and take advantage of the reflectivity of the shape and materials of your wok. Japanese chefs refer to this extra hot cooking state as wok hei, and here’s a hint, you probably can’t currently achieve wok nirvana on your home stove. No matter how awesome you think your gas stove is, it probably just doesn’t have the BTUs to get the wok hot enough. Not only are most home stoves underpowered (according to WokMon, home gas burners vary from 7000 BTUs to 18,000 BTUs for hi-end stoves versus 150,000+ BTUs for restaurant burners) but there is an inherent dead spot in the middle of the burner where no flame exists. This dead spot is exactly where a wok needs the heat to do its job.
The WokMon ring actually reflects all the flames from a gas burner to this exact spot, and vents around the outside of the ring allow for a rich mixture of oxygen to help feed the flame. The result looks like an F-16 firing up in your kitchen, and quite frankly, scares me a little bit.
While I may not be brave enough yet to test out a prototype of the WokMon, the fearless folks at Serious Eats did run it through its paces. Check out their review and this insane flame that the WokMon puts out.
Yeah, that should do the trick. Flame on, WokMon !!