One of the most popular questions I’ve been asked during my cooking workshops is “Can you recommend a good wok / pan for Chinese cooking?” To that question, my answer is, ALWAYS get a heavy cast iron wok and get a good quality non stick frying pan.
We tend to associate wok as the most used Chinese cooking equipment, and that’s not wrong. However I probably spend as much time using a frying pan as using a wok. Wok is good for stir fries but frying pan is ideal for many types of Chinese flatbreads and pan-fried dumplings.
A while ago I was sent a sturdy Gastrolux frying pan, when the parcel arrived I could hardly lift it! I knew straight away it’s a good one as heavy weight pans are often better at distributing heat evenly, a key to perfect flatbreads. The pan has an extra layer of metal at the bottom, ensuring there are no hot spots.
With this new pan, this first thing I did was a batch of pancakes just to test exactly how good they are. I find this a brilliant test for pans as the outcome is obvious:
The pancake on the left is made with Gastrolux pan, the one on the right is made with my trusty Tefal. You can see already that the Tefal one is sort of 2-toned, a bit lighter coloured on one side. Whereas Gastrolux pan gave a very even and speedy colouring on the pancake.
I have also enjoyed demonstrating how to make tasty shao bings with all my pans, and you can see the Gastrolux one (the bottom one) is obviously giving the nicest and most even colour across all stuffed flatbreads.