Must-have Chinese Cooking Utensils

If you've decided to finally take the plunge and start cooking Chinese food, the very first thing you should be aware of is their utensils wherein lies the secret of all the recipe.

Wok : When talking about Chinese Cooking Utensils and Tools - the most important of them all is the indispensable "Wok". The wok is the most important utensil in the Chinese kitchen. As the most 'useful' Chinese cooking utensil the wok is designed with a round bottom that fits perfectly over a traditional Chinese 'stove' often made of clay or mud which burned wood or charcoal.

The wok is an all purpose Chinese cooking utensil that you can use for almost any type of cooking such as steaming, stewing, braising, smoking, and of course, stir-frying. With its original round bottom design, the wok isn't ideal to use on the flat stove tops. Most round bottom woks comes with a steel ring that helps secure it in place while you cook. Most woks are made from carbon steel or iron. Before you use your new wok, you need to season it.

First clean the wok in warm water with a stiff brush. Dry it, and then heat the wok on a stove to high, then pour in a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Use a cloth or paper towel and thoroughly wipe the inside of the wok with the oil. Careful not to burn yourself. Turn off the heat, and let the wok cool, now your wok is seasoned.

The Cleaver: The Chinese cook does many things with a cleaver: minces garlic, cuts vegetables into delicate, fanciful shapes, peels fresh water chestnuts. In the absence of the modern meat grinder, a pair a cleavers put to work simultaneously will achieve the same results.

The Spatula: The Chinese spatula is specially designed for stir-frying in the wok. The edge of the spatula bowl is rounded to fit the shape of the pan, and the utensil itself is sturdier overall than the usual American one, to allow stirring and tossing of large quantities of food.

Steamer: You may prefer to buy a traditional bamboo steamer, which is attractive enough to double as a serving tray for the steamed foods. The bamboo steamer has the additional asset of allowing more than one layer of food to be steamed simultaneously.

The Chinese Wire Strainer: This wide, flat wire strainer with a long bamboo handle is very useful for removing deep-fried foods from hot oil or noodles from boiling water. The most common size for home use is 6" diameter.

Chopsticks - Use in the kitchen for stir-frying and mixing ingredients.
Cutting Board - Wood or acrylic are best.
Knife - for cutting and chopping.

The Clay Pot: Clay-pot dishes are the Oriental version of the American casserole. The main difference is that they are cooked on top of the stove rather than in the oven. The design of the clay-pot assures good retention of heat, so that even if dinner is delayed, the food stays piping hot.

The Sizzling Platter: Sizzling-platter dishes, also called "iron-plate" dishes, have recently become popular menu items in Chinese restaurants. These dishes are named for the heavy iron platter that is used for serving. The platter is heated to a high temperature, placed on its wooden tray, and delivered to the table. When hot stir-fried food is spooned onto the platter, the sizzle is very dramatic.

As you go along and get more ambitious you will want to add your home kitchen with Chinese cooking utensils. Hence you can search online or go to various stores in America to select your required equipment from their vast range of utensils available and finally enjoy your way to cooking Chinese delicacies.

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About The Author, Abhishek Agarwal
Abhishek is a cooking enthusiast! Visit his website and download his FREE Cooking Report "Master Chef Secrets" and learn some amazing Cooking tips and tricks for FREE! Learn how to create the perfect meal on a shoe-string budget. And yes, you get to keep all the accolades! But hurry, only limited Free copies available!