8 Cooking Tools Every Chinese Home Must-Have
Chinese food is one of the most loved cuisines in different parts of the world. Many people wonder how they can cook such tasty food that they start trying to do so on their own. One of the tricks behind their yummy food is the tools that they use for cooking. Chinese people have certain cooking tools that they use to make their traditional food. If you are wondering what these tools are, here are 8 cooking tools that every Chinese home must have:
1. The cleaver
The cleaver is a lightweight chef’s knife that is mainly used for veggies. It has a rectangular shape, with either a wooden, plastic, or stainless-steel handle. The cleaver itself can be made from stainless steel or high carbon steel. Being known to be lightweight and very versatile, a Chinese veggie cleaver is a multipurpose tool that can carry out several tasks like chopping, crushing, mincing and slicing food. Even the heel of the handle is known to be used for bashing and grinding. Making it a very useful tool to have in the kitchen.
2. The wok and its accessories
The wok is one of those multi-purpose Chinese cooking utensils. It is very important to have a wok in your kitchen. It is not like any wide pot; it has a shallow dome shape that helps it heat up faster than a regular pot. It can be used for deep-frying, stir-frying, roasting, braising, stewing, boiling, and steaming. Most of them are either made of carbon steel or iron.
Along with the wok, comes other items. One of these items is the wok lid, which will come in handy during steaming or boiling. It makes sure that the temperature gets high enough for food that takes time to cook. Another item is the wok ring that sits around your burner to make sure that your wok won’t slide around while you’re cooking. It would be of great use if you don’t have a cast iron or steel grate on your gas range. The last item that you will need for your wok is the wok shovel. It is more than just a spatula or a turner. It helps you big time in stirring and tossing large quantities of food. It is usually made from bamboo, wood, or metal.
3. Cutting board
From the days of the early Chinese people up until the present day, they have been using pine trees to make cutting boards. They specifically use pine trees for their excellent properties, such as their softness. They are also sometimes made of bamboo. Bamboo cutting boards are very efficient and easy to clean. Every kitchen will definitely need a cutting board for more efficiency in cutting vegetables or slicing meat.
4. Bamboo strainer or spider
The bamboo-made strainer is also known as the spider. It is of great use when it comes to frying or straining. Many Chinese kitchens use it for skimming fat from broths or soups. The strainer is basically a basket that is attached to a long bamboo handle. The basket size can differ according to what you will be using it for. It is known to be one of the tools that can make your work quickly, yet with precision so that you won’t need to switch from one tool to another. Many people like its versatility in function, such as using it to rinse the berries or grapes.
5. Rice cooker
What is more essential to a Chinese meal more than noodles or rice? That is why you need a rice cooker in your kitchen. One of its pros is that you can use it for more than just cooking rice. For example, you can use it for stewing meat, steaming eggs or veggies, heating milk, cooking porridge, and so on. It is also known to be more heat efficient than cooking on a hob because it is well insulated, and it makes sure that the steam pressure is maintained.
6. Bamboo steamer
A bamboo steamer is a tool that is made from bamboo racks that are layered on top of each other. It is very easy and simple to use. Just fill the wok with water to cover up to half an inch on your steamer. Then start lining your food on thin cabbage leaves or cheesecloth on each rack. You will have an impressive serving platter once your food is done cooking. The steamers can come in different sizes that can reach up to 10 inches across.
7. Clay pots
When winter comes, what more would you need than a nice bowl of hot soup, stew, or any warm bubbly dish? Clay pots are known to take care of your cooking needs during winter. You can safely cook with them on the stove rather than in the oven. It has a high heat retention; it can keep your food warm for a reasonable amount of time. This feature makes it ideal in case of any delay that might happen at lunch or dinner time.
Last but not least are the famous bamboo chopsticks. These thin devils can pick up a single grain of rice up to a big piece of meat. They come in two different sizes. The ordinary ones are a minimum of 12cm long and the big ones are minimum of 30cm long. You can use them to stir-fry, beat eggs, or mix ingredients together. They can also come in different materials other than bamboo. Chopsticks can be made of metal or plastic composites. However, these two materials make them very slippery to use. That is why you might find it hard to function while using them. So, if you would like to avoid this issue, then you would most likely be needing the bamboo chopsticks.
Having these cooking tools in any kitchen will make your cooking experience different, and definitely more challenging and enjoyable in the best kind of way! Most of the tools are made from wood or bamboo for how widely they are spread. Additionally, they are very efficient and easy to use. If you make sure you have those 8 tools in your kitchen, you will be enjoying your time cooking a nice meal, Chinese or not!