Have an all-around Japanese wok in your kitchen!

by Keiko Miki June 12, 2019 4 min read

Have an all-around Japanese wok in your kitchen!

Frying pans are absolutely essential in the kitchen. There are several cookware which is often used in daily life but I believe that frying pans are one of the most used items to cook.

Today, Teflon-coated household pans are commonly used. However, the number of people who use iron or aluminum pans at home is also increasing with the recent cooking boom around the world. Iron pans provide special daintiness that other materials cannot do. Once you know the benefits, you wouldn't want to get back to your old pans.

This wok made by Yamada will be your best friend in the kitchen. As you know, of course, you always need to be nice to your friends. If you don't know how to treat them, they might get offended and leave you... :P

In this article, we introduce how to maintain your very first Yamada's woks. There are two mandatory steps, called "pre-seasoning" and "seasoning". Let's take a look how to proceed.

First thing first, "Pre-seasoning"

Yamada Hammered Iron Round Bottom Wok

As you can see in the picture, their woks are normally coated with oil when they are delivered to you. This glaze is varnish for anti-rust. Therefore, they have peculiar smell and need to be pre-seasoned to get them ready to be used for cooking.

Sounds a bit serious, right? I know, but don't worry. It's not that complicated.

First of all, set Yamada's wok on the gas stove and heat it up evenly over highest heat. You don't need oil or anything, but just pan itself. In a nutshell, pre-seasoning is to heat up the whole wok to burn off varnish.

Yamada Hammered Iron Round Bottom Wok

By heating it up on the gas stove, you will see the colour of the pans is changing from black to bluish-grey. In the picture above, the colour around the bottom can be seen slightly different from the side part.

If you actually do it by yourself, this colour change is obvious. Please heat it up until the entire wok completely changes its colour and burn off the coating. It approximately takes 10 - 30 minutes with the household gas stoves. If your stove equips temperature sensor, it can take longer. Do this as much as you want until the smell of varnish disappears. Some people even spend an hour but it's harmless for the woks so don't worry. You can take your time until you are satisfied with :)

The household stoves have lower heat compared to the ones for professional use so it might take longer than you think. To spend enough time on your new friend, we recommend you to try it when you are fully available.

Yamada Hammered Iron Round Bottom Wok

Moreover, white smoke and the smell of burnt varnish that woks throw out would pervade the kitchen. Please make sure to open the window for ventilation during this process.

Once the colour has changed entirely and you don't smell varnish, pre-seasoning step is completed!

Give life into wok, "Seasoning"

Yamada Hammered Iron Round Bottom Wok

After burning off the anti-rust varnish with pre-seasoning, please let the wok cool down and wash it lightly, then wipe it up.

The next step is "seasoning", briefly speaking, to apply oil to the woks. Yamada's woks are ironware that is made one by one by craftsmen. Thus, seasoning is absolutely necessary to protect them from corrosion and keep their best condition as long as possible.

Yamada Hammered Iron Round Bottom Wok

Seasoning is as simple as pre-seasoning. All you need to do is to put oil in the wok and stir-fry some vegetable scraps on high heat.

Their surface after pre-seasoning is like your skin after washing your face. These oil and vegetables work as lotion and cream for dried skin.

Vegetables give off tannin, a kind of polyphenol, when it's stir-fried, and it coats the surface of the woks. Try to use the entire wok evenly.

Wash with scrub brush and running water

Yamada Hammered Iron Round Bottom Wok

Once you have done with seasoning, wash the wok with running water. You don't need washing liquid at this stage. Scrub brushes made from plant-based fiber are recommended, rather than metal ones. Woks are strong enough to be washed with metallic brushes but nothing would build the better and longer relationship than treating them softly and nicely does.

In case you don't know which kind of scrubber you should use, Japanese "kamenoko tawashi" is highly recommended with its functionality and sturdiness.

Yamada Hammered Iron Round Bottom Wok

After removing all the vegetable scraps, set the wok on the gas stove once again to dry it out. Then, apply oil on the wok surface to coat before you store it.

Woks' surface needs to be coated with oil when they are not in use, regardless the storage term is short or long. Apparently, you shouldn't leave them wet or with food after use so clean them as soon as possible.

Woks might be a bit high-need at the beginning but they will be growing up to your reliable kitchen partner over time. Even though it can take time, keep company with it patiently. The longer you use them, the more you understand each other. I told you they can be your best friend, don't I? ;) Hope you enjoy cooking more and like the exclusive taste that only iron woks can bring out!

Yamada Hammered Iron Round Bottom Wok

Keiko Miki
Keiko Miki



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