10 COMMON TOOLS FOR CHINESE COOKING
In our kitchen, these Chinese cooking utensils are used daily. If you want to cook from our blog, however, you don’t need any of the following: However, if you’d like to expand your cooking toolkit, we’ve put up a list of some of our favorites. Everything on this list isn’t specialized for Chinese cuisine, but it may still be handy if you’re making Chinese food!
This website is referenced in our recipes anytime we use Chinese culinary utensils. When you click on a cooking tool link in one of our recipe postings, it will open this page and direct you to the exact Chinese cooking tool that is being utilized. Discover new techniques and skills in the kitchen by perusing this collection of Chinese and other helpful kitchenware.
WOK AND WOK LIDS
If you will, the band’s flamboyant leader of the Chinese cooking tools. Cooking with a wok, which is a broad, shallow, domed pot that gets blisteringly hot when placed over high heat, is common practice for many Chinese meals. Smoky the Bear would be appalled at the temperatures our woks attain. High heat, on the other hand, is responsible for the “wok hay” flavor that can’t be described.
An essential wok lid is required for steaming and boiling and raising the temperature for extended cooking times. It’s always a good idea to reach for your wok when in doubt.
WOK AND THE RING
The larger flame required for traditional Chinese cooking can now be found on some ranges, thanks to the inclusion of a large wok burner. I’m pretty sure we’re the only ones that own one of these (I’m sure no one else does, either).
This ring is used to keep your wok from sliding around on your existing burner when you’re cooking. Even while we don’t use one, and I don’t believe it’s necessary if your gas stove has a cast iron or steel grate, it does not rule out its usefulness. This is your decision to make.
WOK SPATULA AND HOAK IN METAL
A sturdy metal spatula is essential in Chinese cooking. It’s fine to use any old wooden or metal spatula for most stir-fries, but a sturdy metal spatula is necessary for things like fried rice, glutinous rice cakes, or anything else that can stick to your wok.
Bamboo Spider or STRAINER
This Chinese spider/strainer is usually spotted at Chinatown restaurants and is perfect for frying or straining. To drain the liquid from wontons or dumplings, you can use any strainer or slotted spoon these days. The Woks of Life kitchen uses a variety of filters, including the classic Chinese spider shown here. You can see how well it works in our Egg Roll recipe, where we use it to scoop the egg roll filling out of the wok. When preparing Chinese New Year’s crispy shrimp chips, I’m confident you’ll find a use for this.
It is without a doubt the most essential electronic Chinese cooking equipment. Today’s rice cookers come in various designs and pricing ranges. Different types of rice, porridges, and other foods can be cooked using various settings, whereas others only have an on/off button. Regardless of your preference, one of these babies will ensure that you always have perfectly cooked rice on hand. Our cumulative expertise suggests that you save money and avoid the multi-purpose machines in favor of a rice cooker.
STEEL STEAM RACK
The term “Chinese food” conjures up images of stir-fries, although many meals are steamed as well (e.g., steamed fish, buns, shumai, etc.). A metal steaming rack can be placed in the bottom of a deep pot or a wok to hold up a heat-resistant dish loaded with steamable.
Stacking layers of bamboo racks in a bamboo steamer allows you to cook numerous foods simultaneously, utilizing only one burner and one wok. One can cook a meal at a time on its rack and add layers of toppings. A single set has two racks and a lid, but you can purchase as many as you need.
Dumplings and buns are two of our favorite things to steam in the steamer. Steaming is as simple as putting your steamer in the wok and filling it with water to the halfway point. A thin napa cabbage leaf or cheesecloth can be used to line the steamer’s tiers before placing the dumplings two inches apart on each deck. You’ll have an instant serving platter as soon as your food is done cooking. Sizes range from small to large. You’ll need something at least 10 inches wide.
You may never need to buy another Blendtec blender again, as long as you don’t accidentally plug it into a 220-volt socket in China (yes, it happened, and it was scary!). Take it from a family that has had to replace several blenders because they were either too small or too old.
CUSTOMIZED DUTCH COOKWARE
These cast iron roasting pans are a must-have for any serious home cook. To be honest, we don’t “need” a lot of stuff, but this pot is ideal for making stews and braising whole ducks or chickens in soy sauce. They can also be used to bake rustic bread in the oven, as a friend does frequently and successfully. The oval pot shown here, we believe, is more adaptable and may be used for everything from braising a complete duck to poaching an entire fish.
Chinese-style cleavers are the perfect multitasking instrument. They can slice, dice, chop, scrape, and scoop. Chefs in China frequently use this SINGLE knife for their tasks rather than a diverse array of utensils. All it takes to get varied outcomes is a little bit of creative manipulation. It rips through pork bones in one fell swoop. Once it’s been washed, it’ll slice onions and blocks of tofu with a razor’s edge precision.
As with any purchase, it is always advisable to buy a knife from a store rather than online. As an alternative, the price of this particular model is so low that it’s virtually a no-brainer to buy it if you can’t find one. However, you don’t need this knife to make any of the recipes featured on this blog. Conventional knives can be used for most of the cutting in Chinese cuisine. If you’re thinking about getting one, make sure you shop around. My father has used this cleaver to cut kindling in a pinch, so you have some notion of its sturdiness there.