Tips & Techniques > What is Wok Hay?

Wok hay is a Cantonese phrase used to describe a particular essence and aroma that is created in a dish when authentic stir-frying is performed. “Hay” means “energy” or “breath”; therefore, “wok hay” means “the energy or breath of a wok”. By properly and skillfully cooking food in a well-seasoned wok over extremely high heat, a stir-fry will obtain concentrated flavors that have a particular essence and aroma. Stir-fried dishes, especially in the Canton area of China, are judged on whether or not they contain this highly-revered “wok hay”.