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Chinese Cooking Utensils

By Jacklyn Chen

There are quite a few traditional utensils that have been used in cooking for thousands of years in China. Some of them are still seen in most of families, some can only be seen in rural areas, or may be disappearing in the modern world. But to cook authentic Chinese food that always tastes like grandma's, some of the utensils simply cannot be replaced by what you see in American stores.

Chinese Wok

Deep pan with round bottom used in several ways. Comes in iron, stainless and stainless with layer of copper on the bottom. Iron heats most evenly, but should be seasoned before using or food will stick.

To season: Fill pan with water. Add soap and soda and bring to boil. Pour off water, wipe dry. Place pan over strong heat. Add oil and rotate till pan is coated. Pour off excess oil. Place pan over weak fire and wipe with dry cloth.

To clean: After using pan, wash while still hot. Wipe and place over heat to dry completely.


Heavy and wide. All purpose - for paring, cutting, slicing, chopping and carving.

Iron Palette

Comes in square or round front. Rounded ones are easier to use with Chinese wok. Use for frying, sautéing and basting.

Iron Spoon

Use back side for mixing food with minimum breakage.


Used for steaming buns, chicken, meat, fish. Place over Chinese wok filled with boiling water. Buy one size smaller than wok. There are new styles of steamers on the market made of different materials. But Chinese believe that the traditional steamer works the best.

Slotted Spoon

Used for deep frying and boiling to get rid of excess oil or water.

Wire Sieve

With handle. Used for boiling noodles, dumplings, etc.

Steamers for Pastries

Small in size - about 15cm (6") in diameter. Used in same method as large steamer. Serve hot pastries in steamers. Typical foods served are small meat buns (small steamer meat buns, or Xiao Long Bao Zi), steamed meat dumplings (Shao Mai), etc.

Moulds for cookies

Made from wood with various carved designs. No longer popular in the modern society since people tend to buy cookies off the shelf. Some may still use the moulds for major holidays, or just Chinese New Year.

Bamboo Brush

Used for washing hot wok. Guess only people in some rural areas still use this type of brush. More people use regular washing cloth found on market.

Rolling Pin

Used for preparing noodles, dumpling skins, Chinese pancakes, and more. With the busy daily life nowadays, most of time people choose to buy ready to cook fresh noodles and dumpling skins from the small vendors seen on the street to save us time. Choose ones made from sturdy wood.

Copyrighted: You may freely republish this article as long as author bio and active hyperlinks are kept intact.

About the Author

Jacklyn Chen - Webmaster of news-blogs.com, satellite info, and emobile-news.com. She is a full time mom who works very hard to make living with multiple web sites. She is seeking for success in singing career in China.


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