Photo by James Carrier
If I had to limit myself to just one pan, I would choose a wok. In this big bowl-shaped Chinese pan, I can cook just about everything. With its generous surface area, it's great for stir-frying or sautéing. The wok's bowl shape increases its capacity, so you can use it to steam, braise, or deep-fry.
With all these credentials, it's no wonder the wok is standard equipment in many kitchens. The real surprise is that cooks don't use the wok more often to make speedy one-pan dinners like our recipe for rice noodles with pork.
This noodle dish takes advantage of the wok's versatility: just stir-fry meat and onions, then add soaked noodles and spinach. Along with purchased edamame for predinner snacking and some fruit for dessert, the result is an easy ― and complete ― meal.