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Chinese equipment info Tips and Information

Chinese equipment info and tips will help you in your cooking and food preparation.These are very useful and quite interesting information that you learn once and then apply at any time you need it.


chinese equipment info

Spatula
A longhandled metal spatula shaped rather like a small shovel is ideal for scooping and tossing food in a wok. Any good longhandled spoon can be used instead.

Rack
If you use your wok or a large pot as a steamer you will need a wooden or metal rack or trivet to stand above the water level and support the plate of food to be steamed. Some woks are sold with a metal stand but most Chinese grocers department stores and hardware shops stock triangular wooden stands or round metal stands which can be used for this purpose. You can improvise a stand by using an empty inverted tin can of suitable height.

Bamboo brush
This bundle of stiff split bamboo is used for cleaning a wok without scrubbing off the seasoned surface. It is an attractive inexpensive implement but not essential. A soft washing up brush will do just as well.

Deep fat fryers
These are very useful and you may find them safer and easier to use for deep frying than a wok. The quantities of oil given in the recipes are based on the amount required for deep frying in a wok. If you are using a deepfat fryer instead you will need about double that amount but never fill it more than half full with oil.

Cleavers
No self respecting Chinese cook would be seen with a knife instead of a cleaver These heavy lethallooking choppers serve many purposes. They are used for all kinds of cutting ranging from fine shredding to chopping up bones. A Chinese cook would usually have three types: a lightweight one with a narrow blade for cutting delicate foods including vegetables a medium weight one for general cutting chopping and crushing purposes and a heavy one for heavy duty chopping. Of course you can prepare Chinese food using good sharp knives but if you decide to invest in a cleaver you will be surprised at how easy it is to use. Choose a good quality stainless steel one and keep it sharp.

Chopping board
The Chinese traditionally use a soft wood block for chopping. Not only is this difficult to maintain but it accumulates bacteria. I prefer to use a hardwood or a white acrylic board. Both are strong easy to clean and last indefinitely. There is so much chopping and slicing to be done when preparing food for Chinese cooking that it really is essential to have a large steady cutting board. (For hygiene reasons never cut cooked meat on a board which you have also use for chopping raw meat or poultry. Keep a separate board for this purpose.)

Steamers
Bamboo steamers are among the most ancient of Chinese cooking utensils. These attractive round boxess come in several sizes of which the 25cm size is the most suitable for home use. Bamboo steamers are filled with food and placed on top of a pot or over a wok of boiling water. Clean damp cheesecloth is sometimes placed over the open slats under the food to prevent sticking. A tight fitting bamboo lid is put on top to prevent the steam escaping. One of the advantages of the design is that several steamers can be stacked one on top of the other for multiple cooking. Bamboo steamers can be bought at Chinese grocers. (Alternatively any
European kind of wide metal steamer can be used.) Before using a bamboo steamer for the first time wash it and steam it empty for about 5 minutes.

Rice cookers
Electric rice cookers are increasing in popularity. They cook rice perfectly and keep it warm throughout a meal. A rice cooker also has the advantage of freeing a burner or element making for a less cluttered hob. They are relatively expensive however so unless you eat rice frequently I do not think they are worth the expense.

Sand or clay pots
These attractive light weight clay pots are also known as sand pots because their unglazed exteriors have a sandy texture. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes equipped with matching lids and sometimes are encased in a wire frame. The pots are designed to be used on the hob (since most Chinese do not have ovens) and are used for braised dishes soups and for cooking rice. Never put an empty sand pot onto the heat or put a hot sand pot onto a cold surface. In both cases the pot will crack. Any good casserole or castiron pot can be used as a substitute.

Chopsticks
Chopsticks are not just used for eating. They are also used when cooking for stirring beating and whipping. Specially long chopsticks are available for these purposes but it is perfectly all right to use Western cooking implements instead.
Table chopsticks come in wood plastic and most luxurious of all ivory. They can be bought at many department stores Chinese grocers and from many Chinese restaurants or takeaways.
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