Chinese Cooking Equipment

Chinese Cooking Equipment

Every cooking cuisine has its own cooking equipment particular to them and Chinese cooking is no different. The cooking equipment can be used for other cuisines but makes the food more authentic in taste and presentation.

What Essential Items Do You Need For Chinese Cooking

This is a list of basic equipment that you would need for your Chinese cooking journey. Just the essential basics to get you started, and then everything else.

Wok

cooking in a wok

The Traditional Chinese Wok

These are made from carbon steel and need seasoning before using. once seasoned correctly they are never washed in soap and water. The seasoning of the wok makes it non stick and can withstand high temperatures.

There are now non stick woks available, choose the size according to your needs. If you are cooking for one a small wok will suffice, cooking for a family get a large wok.

A lid also comes in handy for retain heat.

Knifes

Chinese clever

Chinese Clever

Not essential as any good knife will do but the Chinese use it to great effect because of its weight and size. You can easily cut through bone and cartilage because of the weight. It is also used to scoop up the chopped ingredients to transfer to the wok.

image source

Steaming

Chinese Bamboo Steam Basket

Chinese Bamboo Steamer

If you intend to make some classic dim sum then you will need a traditional Chinese bamboo steamer basket. It is also used for steaming fish, cakes, desserts, rice and vegetables.

A healthy way to cook is steaming the food locking in nutrients.

Chopping Boards

cutting board

Cutting Boards

A good cutting board is essential in Chinese cookery, especially if you’re using a Chinese cleaver. All the ingredients are prepared in traditional Chinese cooking even before heating the wok. All the ingredients need to be cut to similar sizes so they cook quickly and evenly

Cooking Utensils

Chinese cooking utensils

Wok Shovel

Not essential but it does help move the ingredients around and stop anything from burning. It is shaped to fit the contour of the wok exactly and also helps serving the food.

A wooden spoon will do but it’s not quite Chinese cooking is it. These are also made from steel so if you don’t have a carbon steel wok then get a plastic/bamboo shovel so you do not damage your non stick wok

Chinese Resources

Thats all the basic equipment that you would need to start cooking Chinese. Of course there are other pieces of cooking equipment but not essential, let’s have a look at what else the Chinese use to cook.

Additional Chinese Cooking Equipment

Rice Cooker

A rice cooker is an electric cooking utensil that is used for pressure boiling or steaming rice, and other things. Chinese people, especially in southern China, prefer to eat rice as their staple food. They use a rice cooker almost every day. The best egg fried rice is made from steamed rice that is a day old, cook the rice and then just store in the fridge. (3 days max) I find it gives you a better texture once some of the moisture has gone.

Pressure Cooker

Pressure cookers are used for cooking food faster than conventional cooking methods. Some are electric and some use heat from a hob. Pressure cookers can be used to cook many things, including rice, porridge, and spare rib stew.

Wok Brush

The bamboo wok brush is an important Chinese cooking utensil to clean the wok effectively, which is especially useful when using woks that are made of sticky materials. The wok brush can properly clean the wok without needing any detergents, while at the same time won’t ruin the wok’s surface.

Ladle

There are two versions of Chinese ladles, and the first one is called  tngsháo. It is mainly used for serving soup or stew from a stewing pot, wok, or slow cooker. They can be made from various materials from stainless steel, aluminum, silver, plastic, and even wood/bamboo.

Chinese Scoop Strainer

A Chinese scoop strainer, as the name suggests, is mainly used for straining foods from the surrounding liquids (water, broth, or even oil). It is an important tool in Chinese cooking, and is very convenient to lift a fried fish after it is deep-fried or also to remove noodles, wontons, dumplings, and various dishes from boiling water

Clay Pot / Earthen Pot

The clay pot is a very important utensil in Chinese cooking, with so many clay pot dishes in Chinese cuisine. The clay pots have been around for many centuries and will produce a unique flavor for the dishes cooked in it due to the alkaline nature of the clay. Claw neutralizes the acidity of the food, and so the clay pot acts as a natural sweetener. 

Mandoline Slicer

The mandoline slicer is a very useful cooking utensil to cut and slice various foods and ingredients in a much faster and convenient way. You can easily slice foods in various thicknesses depending on the needs of the dishes with the mandoline and is essential in various Chinese dishes especially for dishes that are stir-fried.

Cooking Chopstick

Long cooking chopsticks are used to manipulate foods and ingredients during boiling or frying, but also to pick up cooked foods that are already cooked from a hot stew pot or wok. The cooking chopsticks are longer than the typical Chinese eating chopsticks and can reach more than 12 inches

Stock Pot

A stockpot, is used to make homemade stock which is used in various braised and stewed dishes, among other Chinese cuisines. Also used to make master stocks which are used to flavour other dishes. Foods poached or braised in the master stock are generally referred to as lou mei.

Chinese Rolling Pin

The rolling pin is very important in making Chinese buns, but is also useful in kneading bread, making noodles, dumplings, and all kinds of cakes. There are various rolling pins with various length and thickness, and each of them has different uses.