Monday, July 10, 2006

Chinese Cooking Utensils

Chinese Cooking Utensils

Some of the things to cook with for Chinese are
the same as in the West. Others are quite
different. However, most Chinese dishes can be
prepared and cooked with the equipment found
in the normal home kitchen with perhaps,
a few smallish additions.

A good supply of pots and pans of various sizes
should be handy. In general, slow cooking dishes
should have thicker pots and faster cooking
things should have thinner ones.

In Chinese recipes, skillet means any shallow, thin
pan which oil can be heated quickly for various
forms of frying.Deep frying, of course calls for
something deep enough in which to float the
pieces to be deep fried.

For the handling of materials being cooked, you
can use the ordinary ladle, leaking ladles, and
perforated frying shovels.

Of course, you will want to add your home kitchen
with Chinese cooking utensils such as a wok
and bamboo steamers as you go along and get
more ambitious; which you'll find very useful and
indispensable once you put you hands on them.

This helps you to have a better understanding of
the utensils used in a typical Chinese kitchen and
help you decide if you want to invest in some.

Bamboo Steamers - Great for steaming food and
are designed to fit inside the wok. The texture of
the bamboo allows steam to circulate and
evaporate so that less moisture will form on
the inside of the lid. The bamboo steamer has
the additional asset of allowing more than one
layer of food to be steamed simultaneously -
just stack a second basket on top of the first.

Chinese would boil water in a wok then stack
bamboo steamers over the wok, up to 5 layers,
with the food needing less steaming on top,
and the most, at the bottom.

Bamboo steamers are attractive and can be used to
serve food as well. They sure will fascinate yours guests!

Tip: To clean a bamboo steamer, simply rinse it
with water. Do not use detergent or it will absorb
the flavor of the soap and spoil the taste of your
food the next time you use it.

The Chinese Spatula - This is a long-handled wide
shovel-like blade spatula specially designed for
stir-frying in the wok, known as 'wok sang' by the Chinese.

The edge of the spatula blade is rounded to fit the
shape of the wok, and the utensil itself is sturdier
overall than the usual Western version, to allow
stirring and tossing of large quantities of food as
well as removing food from the wok.

The Chinese Wire Strainer - This wide, flat wire-
mesh strainer with a long bamboo handle is very
useful for removing deep-fried foods from hot oil
or noodles from boiling water. It drains oil and
liquid more efficiently than those metal perforated
types. The long bamboo handle won't conduct heat
and helps keep you farther away from the cooking
heat. The most common size for home use is 6" diameter.

Sizzling Platter - Sizzling-platter dishes, also called
"iron-plate" dishes, have recently become popular
menu items in Chinese restaurants. These dishes
are named for the heavy iron platter that is used
for serving.

The platter is heated to a high temperature, placed
on its wooden tray, and delivered to the table.
When hot stir-fried food is spooned onto the
platter, the sizzle is very dramatic.

Clay-Pot - Clay-pot dishes are the Chinese version
of the American casserole. The main difference
is that they are cooked on top of the stove rather
than in the oven. The design of the clay-pot
assures good retention of heat, so that even if
dinner is delayed, the food stays piping hot.

Clay-pots add an indefinable richness of flavor to
soups and hot pots.

Steaming Stand Or Rack - useful in steaming food.

Long Wooden Chopsticks - The Chinese sometimes
use chopsticks for putting food into and taking
things out of a wok especially during deep
frying, but you may use your fingers, forks or
ladles, if you have not learned to use chopsticks.

Chopping Block - The Chinese prefer a wooden
chopping block over the plastic ones because it
does not slip as easily and a big heavy wooden
block big enough to hold what you're chopping
is easier to find. However, you can always lay a
damp kitchen towel under a plastic board
to prevent slipping. Never soak a wooden
chopping block.

Instead, scrub with soap and hot water after us
and keep dry when not in use. Occasionally, you
can use vinegar and lemon juice to clean, sanitize
and deodorize a chopping board.

Other Chinese Cooking Utensils

Wok - The most basic traditional Chinese cooking utensil.

Cleaver - Lg. knife for chopping.

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