I think I have a wok somewhere in my basement. I bought it at a yard sale, after the non-stick coating started wearing off the electric wok we had received as a wedding present. I never really got the hang of stir frying, though. And the rest of my family has never shared my enthusiasm for a meal with lots of vegetables and not so much meat.
After my husband’s bariatric surgery six years ago limited his ability to digest vegetables (especially the broccoli that seems to be part of every package of frozen stir fry vegetables), I gave up on stir fry. Occasionally I treat myself to some stir fry, but I cheat and cook the vegetables in the microwave, the way I cook all my other frozen vegetables. I suppose I can’t really call it stir fry when I don’t fry it, but I like it and it’s probably better for me without the oil.
I’m reluctant to get rid of my wok, though. What if someday I got the ambition to learn how to stir fry properly? (My father-in-law said it was about using peanut oil and making it very hot.) Wikipedia tells me that I can use my wok for other purposes besides stir frying – steaming, deep frying, braising, stewing, smoking, or making soup.
What wikipedia doesn’t mention (except in a link under “See Also”) is that the wok can also be used for racing. It’s a hot (figuratively speaking) new sport in Germany, where a retired Olympic luger edged out a folk musician in the 2010 championship held a week ago. It’s a sport for people with a taste for danger, as a wok isn’t exactly made for easy control while hurtling down an icy chute at up to 60 miles per hour.
I have to get up my nerve even to go down a hill on a sled or inner tube. I never understood the enthusiasm with which my friends welcomed “wipe-outs” on the tube slope. When our older son was a toddler, he and I went sledding at a winter retreat organized by our church. He had great fun the first two times, but the third time we “wiped out” and he went face-first into the snow. I think he eventually got over his fear of sleds (he enjoyed sitting in the sled during the summer and calling it a boat), but no one in our family goes looking for snowy hills to slide down in the winter.
If you’d like a gently used wok to try your skill at wok racing, you’re welcome to borrow mine. Otherwise, I may have to figure out how to use it for braising or stewing.