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1952, from Cantonese.
thin-walled cooking pan, shaped like a shallow bowl with handles, widely used in Chinese-style cooking. The wok has a round bottom that concentrates heat, cooking food quickly with relatively little oil. Food when cooked may be moved up the sloping side of the wok to stay warm without cooking further, while other food is cooked at the bottom. The wok was developed as an implement to conserve scarce fuel. It is generally made of iron, carbon steel, copper, or aluminum. Although woks come in sizes ranging from 25 to 80 cm (10 to 32 inches) in diameter, household woks average from 30 to 36 cm.