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J. Kenji López-Alt's new cookbook The Wok features more than 200 recipes highlighting the versatility of the wok. Along the way, he shares the science behind that versatility and how to master cooking basics. J. Kenji López-Alt hide caption

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J. Kenji López-Alt

Wok This Way: A Science Cooking Show

What's the most versatile pan in the kitchen? According to chef and cookbook author J. Kenji López-Alt, it's the wok! And along with spices, he sprinkles science explainers into his writing. Today's episode is just that — the science of the wok in action. He and host Emily Kwong talk about how to choose, season and cook with one, and why its unique shape makes it so versatile. Plus, we hear how Emily fared cooking one of Kenji's dishes from his new cookbook The Wok.

Wok This Way: A Science Cooking Show

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Left: Jean's perfect kimchi. Right: Eric Kim and his mom, Jean, making and tasting kimchi. Reprinted from Korean American. Copyright © 2022 Eric Kim. Photographs copyright © 2022 Jenny Huang. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House hide caption

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Reprinted from Korean American. Copyright © 2022 Eric Kim. Photographs copyright © 2022 Jenny Huang. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House

Fernando, Paulina and Bricia Lopez run Guelaguetza, the family's restaurant. The cuisine reflects traditions that are rooted in Oaxaca's many indigenous cultures, which the family honors at Thanksgiving. Mandalit del Barco/NPR hide caption

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Mandalit del Barco/NPR

Family Shares Their Oaxacan Tradition Of Giving Thanks In New Cookbook

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A suicidal depression almost ended Ella Risbridger's life, but the London poet and journalist instead ended up writing an uplifting cookbook that promises to "make you fall in love with the world again." Courtesy of Gavin Day hide caption

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Courtesy of Gavin Day

Fried bologna and eggs is one of the dishes included in The Cash And Carter Family Cookbook. Courtesy of Sara Broun hide caption

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Courtesy of Sara Broun

You Can Eat Like Johnny Cash — Thanks To A Cookbook From Country Music's First Family

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Carla Hall has a new book that explores her heritage and attempts to bring soul food to a wider audience. She embarked on a long journey through the South to investigate and get inspiration, and the story is a deep look into her philosophy. Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images hide caption

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Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images

In Soul Food Cookbook, Chef Carla Hall Celebrates Black Culinary Heritage

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Molly Birnbaum, America's Test Kitchen Kids editor in chief, helps 8-year-old Lucy Gray make a one-pot pasta meal from a recipe in the new book, The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs. Courtesy of Paul Gray hide caption

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Courtesy of Paul Gray

What's Cookin', Kiddo? America's Test Kitchen Unveils Book For Young Chefs

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Chef James Syhabout says that, as he was writing the Hawker Fare cookbook, certain recipes became time machines, reminding him of who was in the room when it was made, and the surrounding colors and smells in the atmosphere. Eric Wolfinger/HaperCollins Publishers hide caption

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Eric Wolfinger/HaperCollins Publishers

With 'Hawker Fare,' Chef James Syhabout Shares Laotian Food He Grew Up With

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Mixed Grill with beef, lamb and chicken. Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

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Claire Harbage/NPR

In 'Our Syria' Cookbook, Women Share Stories, Safeguard A Scattered Cuisine

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Chicken blinchiki from Kachka. Leela Cyd/Courtesy of Flatiron Books hide caption

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Leela Cyd/Courtesy of Flatiron Books

Kachka: The Word That Saved A Family During WWII And Inspired A Chef

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One of Cipe Pineles' many illustrated recipes in the newly published cookbook, Leave Me Alone With the Recipes: The Life, Art & Cookbook of Cipe Pineles. Courtesy of Carol Burtin Fripp hide caption

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Courtesy of Carol Burtin Fripp

Rasika chef Vikram Sunderam, here with a towering dish of eggplant and potato, says, "Indian cuisine is a very personal cuisine. It's made from family to family, how they like to cook." Ari Shapiro/NPR hide caption

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Ari Shapiro/NPR

In New Cookbook, Acclaimed Indian Restaurant Finally Spills Its Secrets

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A trip to Ann Arbor, Mich., wouldn't be complete without a visit to Zingerman's. A new cookbook shares some no-nonsense recipes that seem like they're just an oven-preheat away from appearing warm and fresh in your kitchen. Brittany Greeson/Getty Images hide caption

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Brittany Greeson/Getty Images