1. Bamboo whisk
  2. Scraper
  3. Spoon
  4. Wire strainer
  5. Cooking chopsticks
  6. Chopping board
  7. Chinese cleaver
  8. Whisk
  9. Strainer
  10. Steamer
  11. Wok
Basic Cooking Techniques

In China, there are 40 or 50 different methods of heat control (he hou) used in cooking. In practice, you need only be acquainted with a few of them.

Stir-frying is usually done in a wok. you can use a large thin-bottomed pan or frying pan instead, but the essence of the technique is that the food is cooked quickly, over high heat, in very little oil. The food to be cooked is finely sliced or shredded into similar sized pieces, using a very sharp knife or Chinese cleaver.

Shallow frying
This is a slower method of cooking than stir-frying. Again, a work or frying pan is used. More oil is used and the cooking is done over moderate heat.

Deep-frying is used in the same ways as in the west, to produce crisp- texured food. Sometimes the food is deep-fried, removed from the oil and drained. the oil is then reheated and the food deep-fried again, so that it is exetremely crispy.

Paper-Wrapped Deep-Frying
Small pieces of meat or fish are seasoned, then wrapped in cellophane paper to form little parcels, and deep-fried until tender. the food is served in its paper wrapping and opened by the diner with chopsticks. The paper is of course discarded. Cellophane paper is obtainable from large stationers.

The Chinese use bamboo steamers which stack on top of each other, so that four or five dishes can be steamed simultaneously. Dishes requiring most cooking are placed on the bottom layer, near the boiling water, while those requiring less are placed on the top "floor".

used less in China than in the west as the average Chinese kitchen does not contain an oven: the best known dishes are restaurant ones, such as Peking Duck. Cha Siu is a method of quick-roasting meat or poultry at a high temperature for a short time.

Red cooking
This is a unique Chinese method, used primarily for cooking large cuts of meat or poultry. Dark soy sauce is used, which imparts a rich flavour and dark reddish-brown colour to the food.

Stews are usually composed of meat cooked on its own with herbs and spices, rather than with vegetables. In China, stews are usually cooked in an earthenware pot (called a sanspot) over a slow charcoal fire. The stew is cooked for a very long time - up to four hours - producing meat almost jelly-like in tenderness.

<>   Last Modified by Xiaoniu SuChu Hsu (p) in May 1998    suchu@techart.nia.edu.tw