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HEALTHY WOK RECIPES: QUICK, EASY AND DELICIOUS + COOKING TIPS!

Become a kitchen wok-starIf you’re interested in good nutrition, but short on cash and time (aren’t we all!), then a wok is the perfect tool to add to your kitchen arsenal. Read below to learn how to stir-fry and more with this versatile, handy-pan. Let’s wok & roll! 

Note: If you already know how cook with a wok, then feel free to skip this 'how to' cooking section and scroll down to the recipes below. Enjoy!

WHY WOK? With its origins in China, this versatile kitchen utensil can be used to prepare an abundance of recipes from meats and seafood to veggies and cakes. You can use your wok to stir-fry, braise or steam your food to prepare quick, low-calorie, one-pot meals that are tasty, healthy and super-satisfying.

Have a rustle around your kitchen cupboards. If you don’t already have one, seriously consider splashing out $20-$40 and make an investment in your health. You can pick them up super-cheap at your local cookware store or online at places like Amazon.   

WOK BEST PRACTICES: 

  • To keep your food from sticking, use a hot wok and cold oil (Extra-virgin is a good base).   
  • Look to cook no more than a layer of chopped meat at a time. Spread it out around the pan and leave for 30 seconds to a minute.  
  • For crunchy and delicious wok-cooked veggies, ensure they‘re bone-dry. Wet veggies don’t fry, they steam, making the end product soggy -- and there’s nothing worse than soggy sugar-snap peas!  

PERFECT PREPARATION: Before you heat your wok, slice your ingredients into uniform bite-size pieces. Remember, stir-fried foods don’t need long to cook so you won’t have a chance to chop while food is already in the wok. So set out your ingredients near your cooking area in the order they will be added.  

Steamed broccoliSUPER-STEAMER: To create delicious meals that are low in calories and nutritionally-dense, try steaming. To steam your food, bring water to a simmer in the bottom of your wok, then place inside a wire steaming rack (these can be bought separately). The water level should be below the rack.

Place your food either in a heat-proof dish or directly on the rack, cover with the wok lid and let the steam work its magic. For an easy meal, steam your choice of broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini and sweet potato and serve with a sprinkling of shaved parmesan.   

BRAISING MADE SIMPLE:  If you've ever used braising before as part of your cooking and feel confident, feel free to skip this section. Othersie, for those not in the know, braising is a technique of cooking meat leaving it tender and full of flavour.

Here's how: Prior to cooking, ensure meat is at room temperature. Heat a little olive oil and brown the meat on each side before removing from the wok. Next, add in some vegetables, chilli, garlic, onion, tumeric and soy and stir fry for a few minutes. Serve the stir-freid vegetables in a bowl with the meat on top and pour the cooking juices over the top for a delicious, healthy meal double-quick. Yum! 

A selection of spices and herbsHEALING HERBS & SEXY SPICES: There's nothing worse than bland and boring food. So don't be afraid to boost the flavour quotient of your wok cooking with the wide ranges of herbs and spices found at your local food marekt or supermarket.

Try garlic, fresh chilli, tumeric, cumin and cayenne pepper (use sparingly - it's hot!). Experiment with flavours in stir-fries and enjoy the delicious taste as well as the powerful antioxidant boost, with cancer and other disease preventing properties. 

 

Wok recipe section

 

Recipe 1ANTIOXIDANT POWER STIR-FRY: 

The garlic, ginger, chillies and spring onions in this simple stir-fry provide a powerful antioxidant punch and help prevent the onset of chronic diseases. To make, start by whisking ¼ cup salt-reduced vegetable stock, 2 tbs lime juice, 2 tbs salt-reduced soy sauce, 2 tsp of cornflour and 2 tsp of sugar in a bowl until smooth.

Heat 2 tbs of olive oil in a wok, add 4 crushed cloves of garlic, 1 tbs peeled and finely chopped ginger and 2 finely chopped fresh red chillies. Throw in 1 thinly sliced carrot, 1 red capsicum, 4 spring onions 1 zucchini and stir-fry until crisp and tender. Add 125g corm stir-fry for 1 minute and cover with stock mixture. Give it a good stir then cover and simmer for about 2 minutes.   

Recipe 2‘EGG-CELLENT’ ZUCCHINI OMELETTE:

Eggs are a stellar source of fat-fighting protein and make a great start to the day. To make, start by whisking 4 eggs and 4 egg whites together with ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a hot wok. Add 1 clove of crushed garlic, cook for 1 minute. Add 2 small grated zucchini, cook for 1 minute before reducing heat to low and adding eggs. Heat slowly until cooked through. That’s it! Easy right?

Recipe 3SUCCULENT SALMON STEAKS

Get your daily dose of omega-3 by placing salmon steaks in a shallow baking dish and squeeze with lemon juice. Place on rack in wok over simmering water for 15-20 minutes until the fish flakes easily when touched with a fork. Serve with another squeeze of lemon and crispy green stir fry (see above). 

Recipe 4CRISPY GREEN STIR-FRY

Simple and healthy is the name of the game with this recipe. Start by frying an onion in 1tbs of olive oil until brown, add two cloves of chopped garlic and one fresh, green, finely sliced chilli. Add your favourite chopped green vegetables including broccoli, asparagus, green beans, sugar snap peas, and green capsicum. Stir fry until the vegetables are cooked, crisp, and bright. Serve with a sprinkle of soy sauce.

Recipe 5FABULOUS FRENCH TOAST:

What better way to wake up than to a weekend brunch treat of french toast. To get the Low-GI benefits, choose a wholegrain or sourdough bread. Beat four eggs together with a quarter cup of milk. Cover the bottom of the wok with olive oil. Soak the pieces of bread in the egg and fry in hot wok until both sides are light brown. To clock up some essential antioxidants, add a handful of blueberries and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Delicious!

Recipe 6CREAMY SPINACH DELIGHT:

This nutrient-packed spinach dish is loaded with cancer-fighting folate, and caratenoids to prevent muscular degeneration. To make, heat olive oil, brown 1 chopped onion, add ½ cup of salt-reduced vegetable or chicken stock and cook for 1 minute. Add 280g baby spinach and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in 60g reduced-fat cream cheese, ¼ cup grated Romano cheese and ½ tsp ground nutmeg. Cook for 3 minutes until well-blended and creamy.

Recipe 7STEAMED HONEY-SOY CHICKEN:

This ones a cinch! Simply place skinless chicken breasts in a shallow heat-proof dish. Mix a quarter cup of soy sauce with 2 tbs of honey and pour over chicken. Place on rack in wok over simmering water. Cover and steam for 1 hour.

Recipe 8BROWN RICE RISOTTO:

Heat wok, add 2 tbs olive oil. Add 1 chopped onion and capsicum and cook for 3 minutes. Add 1 cup short grain brown rice, 1 crushed clove of garlic, and 1 tsp ground tumeric (tumeric provides powerful anti-inflammatory properties). Cook, stirring until rice is shiny and coated with oil (2 mins approx). Add 3 1/2 cups salt-reduced chicken stock and bring to boil. Turn heat down to low and continue to stir until almost all the liquid is absorbed into the rice, the turn heat off, cover wok and allow to stand for 5-10 minutes until rice absorbs all liquid.

Recipe 92-MINUTE MUSHROOM PASTA:

Drop 1 packet of fresh fettucini into a large pot of boiling water. Cook until pasta rises to surface. Drain, place in a large bowl and toss with 1 tbs of olive oil. Add 2 tbs of olive oil in wok, cook 250g chopped mushrooms. Add 1 cup of beef broth. Cover and steam for 1 minute. Add pasta and 1 tbs of soy sauce. Stir and toss until heated and pasta is tender.