China Underground > Essential guide to China > 6 Must-Have Kitchen Tools for Cooking Chinese Dishes

6 Must-Have Kitchen Tools for Cooking Chinese Dishes

In order to cook the finest Chinese cuisine, you are going to need the right type of equipment.

You wouldn’t expect to find cheap pans and plastic utensils in a restaurant kitchen, so your home cooking kit shouldn’t be any different. Only use the best possible tools to create the best possible dishes!

Here are the most important kitchen tools for cooking Chinese food…


A wok is the first thing you will think about when visualizing Chinese cooking, but did you know that the quality of wok that you use can greatly affect the food that you cook? A wok, which is a round-bottomed pan is used for many different cooking purposes, not just stir-frying. In Chinese kitchens, it is also used for: steaming, poaching, deep frying, braising and stewing. It’s traditionally used with a spatula or ladle. Don’t ever be tempted to buy a cheap non-stick wok unless you want to replace it in just a matter of months. Invest in a decent, heavy wok made from cast iron. This will create a better flavor and brown your food nicely (non-stick pans tend to braise ingredients added to the pan).

Bamboo Steamer

These traditional Chinese bamboo steamers are stacked up and used to steam vegetables, meat, fish, rice and dumplings. You can use a bamboo steamer in conjunction with a wok for the best results. They also look super pretty, so if you are impressing your guests with tasty dim sum then be sure to serve them up in a bamboo steamer!

source: pixabay

Rice Cooker

This always surprises many people in the Western world, but rice cookers are a kitchen staple in Asian kitchens. They guarantee perfect rice each and every time and they’re super easy to wash – seriously, what’s not to like? You don’t need to buy the most expensive rice cooker on the market either to get some pretty impressive results but if you do decide to splash out and get something a little fancier then you might be surprised at what it can do. The better rice cookers on the market have settings for different types of rice grains, so long-grain, brown rice and sushi rice can be cooked to perfection. Another great feature is the timer setting – just simply pour the rice into the cooker and come home to a bowl of freshly cooked goodness!


This all-purpose knife is used in Chinese cuisine and is guaranteed to be found in all Asian restaurants. Not just used for meat, this versatile piece of kitchen equipment can handle chopping, slicing and dicing like a pro. It might take a while to get used to using this type of knife, but once you become familiar with this blade, you will never want to use any other type of knife again.


When we think of Chinese food, we often think of chopsticks in place of a knife and fork. But did you know that chopsticks are also used in the cooking process and can be super handy with Chinese cuisine? Long handled chopsticks are particularly useful as they are specially made to not conduct heat, which means that they are perfect for handling hot food in a pan – deep-fried food and noodles.

Source: pixabay

Spider Strainer

Not as spooky as it sounds, a spider strainer is an essential kitchen tool for Chinese cooking as it allows the cook to scoop food from pots and pans, leaving oil or water behind. This neat little tool gets its name from the wire basket that resembles a spider web with a long handle. This is a handy tool for deep frying, blanching vegetables or skimming foam from broth.

Featured image: pixabay

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