A wok spatula is a long-handled spatula used for stir-frying in a wok.
It looks a bit like a spade for garden gnomes. It has a handle to which is attached a shovel that is wider at the top than at the bottom. The handle will be long, sometimes up to 45 cm (18 inches) to help keep the hands of the cook away from the intense heat of a wok. The handle may be metal or wood, or both. A current popular combination is a handle of metal, tipped by wood which stays cool for the user’s hand.
It is good for stir-frying including frying rice. It is also good for scraping bits of food that may be sticking to the wok.
To use a wok spatula while stir-frying, you start inside the wok bowl on one side of it. You slide the wok spatula down and under the food, and keep on pushing it through the food in one continuous motion, angling it slowly upwards. This flips over all the food that it has passed through.
A wok ladle is often used at the same time as a wok spatula, with one in each hand. A right-handed chef will use a wok spatula in the right hand, and a wok ladle in the left hand. In fact, the two are often sold together as sets.
Plastic wok spatulas made of silicone are available for use with coated non-stick woks, to avoid scratching the non-stick surfaces of them.
Check to see that it’s sold as dishwasher safe, if that is important to you.
A wok spatula is often used at the same time as a wok ladle, with one in each hand. In fact, they are often sold as sets.
Some cooks use only a wok ladle, using it for the tossing and moving about of food that the spatula is meant for.