I might be wrong, but I'm going to guess that you don't own a wok. I lived my entire adult life without owning one either - and now I consider it one of the most important pieces of equipment in my kitchen. I love my wok like a fat boy loves candy. I bought my wok on a whim and made an absolute mess of the first few times I tried to use it. Here's 5 things I should have known - but didn't.
Woks need to be seasoned. Just like a cast iron skillet, the first thing you should do when you buy a new wok is season it and it needs to be seasoned between use.
If you have an electric stove, you need a flat bottomed wok; if you have a gas stove, a round bottom wok is fine.
Woks do two things very quickly - heat up and cool down. This means you need to have all your ingredients organized and at hand before you start. Woks do not lend themselves to leisurely or disorganized cooking. The good news is that once you remove your wok from the burner or lower the flame, it will cool down fairly quickly, allowing you to make adjustments.
Unlike traditional skillet cooking, you want your wok to be smoking (literally) hot before you add the oil.
The well of the wok will be the hottest, with the temperature reducing as you move along the wide rim. The key to a uniform cook is to know the cooking times of your proteins and veggies, being aware that the intense heat of the well will cook very, very quickly and add your ingredients accordingly. While you are still becoming acquainted with your wok, it's a good idea to limit your dish to a single, uniformly cut protein and no more than three vegetables.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS TO SHARE FOR THE NOVICE WOK USER? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS!