Cast Iron Japanese Wok Iwachu L


Cast iron wok by traditional manufacturer, Iwachu of Iwate, Japan. Iron-permeable surface to enrich food with iron during preparation. 37cm diameter. Note This wok is only suitable for use with a gas cooker or open fire due to the rounded bottom.
Type Nanbu Tekki Cast Iron Wok
Origin Morioka, Iwate Prefecture, Japan
Studio/Artist Iwachu
Dimensions in cm Ø37cm x 10cm
Weight 4.8kg
Material Cast iron
Coating Iron-permeable silicone coating for rust protection (Kuro-yakitsuke technique 黒焼付仕上げ)
Stove compatibility Suitable for gas cooker and open flame
Stamp Iwachu stamp

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Wok 中華鍋

Cast-iron wok pans have a rich history and are believed to be the oldest version of the wok, used in China since the Han period (206 BC - 220 AD). In Japan, woks are called "Chinese pans" (Chukanabe, 中華鍋) and are used for a variety of Japanese, Chinese and Southeast Asian-inspired dishes. The material is not only extremely robust, but also has an outstanding heat storage capacity, which ensures that the pans do not experience major temperature fluctuations when heated. Particularly in authentic Chinese cuisine, very high temperatures are sometimes required to enhance the flavours in the dishes; this cannot be imitated with ordinary pans. These aromas are achieved only with wok pans, which in Cantonese is described as Wok Hei (鑊氣). In addition, the cast iron enriches the dishes with iron, especially iron(II), which is particularly bioavailable; in tests of various dishes, the Japanese Nanbu-Tekki Association found up to double the amount of iron compared to preparation in stainless steel pans. Depending on the nature of the handles, woks are roughly divided into Peking woks, which have an elongated handle on one side similar to western pans, and Canton woks, which have rounded handles on both sides. Iwachu woks fall into the latter category and can therefore be handled on both sides.

Nanbu Tekki 南部鉄器

The origins of Nanbu Tekki, or Nanbu ironware, can be traced back to the mid-17th century, when the Nanbu samurai clan were in need of Buddhist altars, bells and chagama teapots to furnish their newly built castle in Morioka, Iwate Prefecture. Skilled metal casters were therefore invited from across the country to contribute to this effort. Although the name Nanbu is written in kanji as "southern region", the clan ruled in the north of Japan, where materials needed for ironwork were naturally abundant. The highly durable Nanbu Tekki is widely considered to be the best metalwork in Japan and makes beloved heirlooms — particularly cast iron kettles, or tetsubin, which are also highly sought after by collectors around the world. In 1975, Nanbu Tekki was designated the first certified Traditional Craft of Japan. The name Nanbu Tekki refers exclusively to cast iron products made in the cities of Morioka and Oshu.


Highly complex manual production. For the mould, an exact pattern of the end product is created, around which a layer of sand is pressed, which then takes on the desired shape for the wok. Iron is then poured into the mould at a temperature of up to 1500°C - a process that requires the utmost concentration and a great deal of experience, because it is essential to avoid air bubbles entering the cast iron. Once the iron has cooled and dried, the mould is removed. Any residual sand must then be carefully cleared away and the final product is thoroughly buffed to eliminate any metal splinters on the surface. This leaves a slightly rough surface, which allows oil to penetrate the surface structure during the cooking process, creating a lipid protective membrane that protects the wok from burning.

Important to us

Before first use, the wok should be washed once with a sponge (a little washing-up liquid can also be used for this purpose, but do not use any more soap afterwards, if possible, as this attacks the protective layer of the wok). Heat the wok so that the water evaporates completely and add a small amount of cooking oil to the wok while it is still hot. Now fry some raw vegetable pieces in the wok, spreading the oil over the entire inner surface. Finally, wipe the wok with a piece of kitchen paper so that the oil gets into all the pores on the inside and is evenly distributed there in a thin layer. This process can be repeated if necessary. Do not leave the food to cool in the wok after cooking, as it can react with the iron in the wok and turn black.


Since a lipid protective layer forms on the surface of the wok as it is used, it should ideally always be washed without detergent. If any food is burnt onto the surface, soak the wok in water for about 10-15 minutes and then wash it with a sponge. In the case of very heavy stains, only use a tiny amount of washing-up liquid. Do not use a steel wool sponge, as this can also damage the surface. If the protective layer has been damaged, for example by using washing-up liquid, please repeat the process described under "Instructions for use". To prevent rust, dry both the inside and outside after each wash and, if necessary, reheat briefly so that any remaining water droplets can evaporate completely.

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