Kitchen equipment needed to cook Chinese food
More and more people are beginning to appreciate the varied options available in authentic Chinese cuisine but are stymied in enjoying Chinese food due to the lack of authentic restaurants nearby. Chinese American cuisine, with its starch based sauces, is very different from authentic Chinese food, and finding ways to obtain the real thing sometimes requires you to learn how to cook and prepare it from the confines of your own kitchen. To cook authentic Chinese food you will need to purchase some basic kitchen equipment in a restaurant supply store which you may or may not currently have in your home. This article will provide you with some of the basic cooking equipment that you will need to prepare authentic Chinese food dishes.
The wok is one of the most commonly known pieces of equipment which is used in Chinese cooking and its usage is widespread. Most Chinese woks are made from Carbon steel which makes for an efficient and even heating surface and which is affordable and durable, but it does have its negatives, primarily that it will rust unless you properly season it. Season a wok with oil and salt before using and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Woks are used for stir frying dishes which involves heating cooking items at a high temperature quickly with a minimal amount of oil. Authentic woks have a rounded bottom which improves heat distribution but makes them difficult to balance. As such, a cooking ring is provided to allow them to stand up. Some more modern woks have a flat bottom which is also acceptable but may take longer to heat items while stir-frying them.
Another important cooking element is a steamer. Traditionally, a bamboo steamer is used by most people in China, but the benefits of using bamboo steamers is their low cost and any metal or hard plastic steamer will do. Steaming food helps to preserve more nutrition than other methods of cooking and is greatly preferred when cooking certain dishes. Consider the types of items that you are planning on steaming before picking up a steamer. For pork roasted buns, a small bamboo steamer is generally sufficient, but for steamed Shanghai crabs or steamed fish with vinegar and soy sauce a larger sturdier steamer is generally used.
In the Szechuan region of China one of the most famous dishes is known as a hot pot. A hot pot is effectively a large pot of hot oil and Szechuan peppercorns that is boiled over a flame which helps to concentrate the flavor and make the dish spicier as it cooks. Common kitchen equipment used to cook hot pot includes pots with a divider in it to segregate between a spicy and non-spicy side so everybody can eat, as well as a portable burner so that the dish can be heated at the dining room table. For lovers of spicy cuisine, hot pot is a dish worth trying.
Authentic Chinese food is not all that hard to prepare if you have the right equipment and can research recipes online. Search for some basic recipes and branch out from there. Soon you will be able to prepre some of the most authentic and compelling Chinese delicacies.