Yep, basically. They take a flat disk of carbon steel and mount it up on a lathe. They then start spinning it and take a tool (usually wooden) and start to deform the plate into the shape of the wok using simple pressure. The result works quite well, and the small concentric indented lines created in the process helps to hold food up on the side of the wok while cooking when you want to get it up away from the hottest parts.
ETA: There used to be a video of this floating around somewhere. I'll see if I can find it.
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I think you are being a little too paranoid about the Chinese made woks. Try reading Grace Young's book "Breath of the Wok." Grace is Chinese/American but has been back to China a number of times to study the subject.
I've found the best woks are the Chinese cast iron ones. Nothing like a Lodge so don't compare the two. Very thin. They are too fragile for restaurant use but they are great for the home where you can be more careful. I doubt anyone goes out of their way to make woks out of virgin iron ore.
I have one of those spun steel woks. My dad got it for me along time ago (30+ years) in Chinatown (San Francisco). i use it a lot, I just make sure I dry it after use and rust has never been an issue. A portion of the bottom is flat so it easy to use on stove.
I also have a carbon steel meat cleaver that he got me about the same time.
Anyone know if Atlas Metal Spinning even makes woks anymore? I can't find a source on google, just references to how good they used to be. Virtually all the real woks I've seen (I don't count Lodge, anything with non-stick on it, stainless steel, or electric) were made in China. There are some made in Thailand offered by importfood.com. I have one but don't like it as much as my Chinese made versions.
Even if the wok isn't made in China, there is a very good chance the materials are being sourced out of China.
Those are from Mainland China without a doubt, but should be ok. I live in Hong Kong and prefer to buy locally made, even if the price is substantially higher. Going to pick up a cast iron wok soon. The traditional method of seasoning a wok is to fry up fatty pork and garlic chives.
Someone is selling them on ebay. they are excellent pans that last forever. I have a wok I bought in the early 90's and still use it on a weekly basis, its still in great shape.
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