Asian cooking without flame.

I think this must be the first of the kind – an award winning glass ceramic induction wok cooktop by Kuppersbusch (part of the Teka Group). It has a curved burner that fits the shape of the traditional wok. Previously, one would have to buy a flat-bottomed wok for use on a conventional flat surface induction worktop.

Apart from the cool design & features (it comes with sensor-touch controls), it is also eco-friendly. With induction cooking, very little energy is wasted as compared to gas or electric cooktops. The induction cooktop uses electromagnetic energy instead of radiant (fire) heat. In induction cooking, the heat energy is quickly transferred to the cookware directly, so very little heat is wasted. As the heat goes directly to the cookware, the cooktop remains relatively cool to touch once the cookware is removed.

Due to its ‘flameless’ and ‘heatless’ characteristics, induction cooking is generally considered to be safer. That is why in some earthquake-prone countries, induction cooking is preferred. In Singapore, it is a requirement to use non-gas hob i.e. electric or induction in small apartments (so-called “mickey mouse” units) where very often there are no wall separation between the bedroom and the kitchenette.

However, you must be convinced that induction cooking is the way to go for Asian cooking. I suppose for daily domestic cooking, induction cooking will not compromise the quality of most chinese dishes which only require stir frying (not tossing of wok to impart wok hei). But if you are a traditional chinese style cooking diehard, the psychological barrier to change to flameless cooking may just be too great to overcome.

Since induction cooking has been around for decades and some of the best restuarants in US, Europe and Japan are equipped with induction cooktops, the talent in creating a great dish is really the cook who needs to have mastery of the use of the tools of the trade. In many top Japanese restuarants, many dishes (sukiyaki and shabu shabu) are cooked in front of the customers using the induction cooking method. With latest induction cooktops boasting more advanced technologies, induction cooking performance can easily rival that of gas or electric cooking.

An often-cited limitation in induction cooking is the need to use the right kind of cookware specifically designed for induction cooking. Although nowadays it’s not hard to find induction cookware, the cost of such cookware is usually higher than the non-induction ones. When shopping for induction cookware, just make sure the cookware display an induction symbol or it’s clearly stated for all hobs.

Here’s none other than masterchef Tetsuya describing the ease of cooking on an induction cooktop as he cooks a mouthwatering wagyu beef (youtube).
Dietrich induction wok demo (video)

Read other views about induction cooking
Is induction cooking safe?

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