You know you love Chinese food when you just can’t get enough. But you don’t need to have grown up in a Chinese household to keep these Chinese cooking tools around. Along with the well-known techniques that have been honed over thousands of years, Chinese cooks and chefs rely on these wonderful tools that help them cook up some of the most delicious meals on the planet. Here is more information about the five Chinese cooking tools you need in your kitchen.
Cleavers are necessary for cutting large chunks of meat for whatever dish you’re going to prepare. However, like many other Chinese cooking tools, these cleavers might look different from their western cousins. These cleavers are rectangular, and you can expect them to be heavier and thicker than western cleavers are. While the handles can be made of plastic, wood, or stainless steel, the blades are either stainless steel or carbon steel.
With these cleavers, you can slice through the bones you’ll find in many pieces of meat unless the bones have already been removed. Besides meat, there are many cutting techniques, such as chopping and dicing, that you can use on vegetables. If you want garlic or ginger, you can crush these seasonings with the flat side of the blade as well.
Woks are another invaluable Chinese cooking tool to keep in your kitchen. Because they are used so often and are so popular, almost every Chinese family will have one. With a wok, you can deep-fry, stir-fry, roast, steam, stew, and braise almost anything you can think of for your next meal. Most woks are made of carbon steel or iron to withstand all of the heat and pressure you’ll encounter while cooking.
There are two kinds of chopsticks you will want: some for eating, and some for cooking. Cooking chopsticks are going to be the longer variety. They can help you scoop food out of a hot wok or pot, such as noodles or smaller chunks of food, that might be difficult for other Chinese cooking tools to capture. Besides being used for eating, regular chopsticks are useful in the kitchen for when you want to stir-fry something, scramble eggs, and to blend ingredients.
Rice cookers are bound to be another go-to item in your kitchen. With a rice cooker, you can steam or boil large batches of rice, but different settings can also allow you to prepare meat, rice porridge, eggs, milk, and so on.
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