Written by Guest Contributor Corinne from Asian Australians for Climate Action
Cooking is the heart and soul of every Asian family; cooking and having meals with family and friends being what we use to connect and create lasting memories. In present times, cooking with gas is very much ingrained within our Asian modern tradition and culture. There is certainly the pervasive myth that gas stoves are far more superior than other cooktops available in the market. We often hear comments like I only cook on gas because I can only get wok hei with my gas stove or Can we cook Asian on induction?. (Wok hei is a Cantonese term meaning the breath of wok, with the literal meaning of the flavours from the wok mixing with the smoke coming from the stove)
This lack of knowledge has led to some Asian families building brand new homes with all electric appliances but retaining their gas stove. Others have fully renovated their kitchens only to install a gas stove alongside an induction cooktop. If there is one thing I wish Asian families knew, it is that induction cooktops are much more efficient in heating cookware directly compared to gas and electric cooktops. Induction cooking uses electromagnetic energy to heat cookware directly. Gas and electric cooktops, in contrast, heat pots and pans indirectly by using a burner or heating element.
This means that concerns over wok hei can be laid to rest. In fact, the wok hei on my 32Amp induction cooktop is far more superior than regular gas stoves. I frequently make char koay teow on my induction cooktop for family and friends to demonstrate its capabilities.
I have also been able to continue to use most of my existing cookware on my induction cooktop; a simple trick to check for induction compatibility is to place a fridge magnet against the bottom of your pot or pan; if the magnet sticks, the cookware will work on an induction appliance. In fact, the only addition to my existing cookware collection is my flat-based induction wok so that I can continue cooking Chinese food such as my favourite char koay teow.
After my most recent char koay teow party, several friends expressed interest in replacing their old gas stoves with induction cooktops. Others may not be ready to make the switch, but they have started using portable induction cooktops in the meantime.
Switching to induction cooktops is just one small and easy step that we can take towards reducing our carbon footprint, especially when it is combined with lifestyle changes such as using solar to run your new induction cooktop, and reducing energy use at home.
Visit our website https://aa4ca.org/ for further information on why we should make the switch away from gas stoves. And follow us on Facebook and Instagram!