Chinese Kitchen Equipment

Although special kitchen equipment are not critical for cooking Chinese food, certain items can simplify life should we indulge in Chinese cooking on a regular basis.

Rice Cooker

Generally, the proportion is about 10-15% more water than rice(volume). There are other ways of measuring the volume proportion, often involving tips of fingers or other variable measures.

Rice can be cooked with a pot over the cooking stove, but that risks burning if not closely monitored.

My essential rice cooker has always been of the electric variety, and programmed to produce perfect rice every time. It switches to "keep warm" mode once the rice is cooked. I suggest choosing a model that has a non-stick pot to allow easier cleaning.


Woks are ubiquitous in Chinese kitchens and are traditionally made of cast iron. Now you can find woks made of carbon steel, stainless steel line aluminum, anodized aluminum and even copper.

Woks have many advantages over frying pans, one of which is that it spreads heat much more evenly.

The rounded bottom woks let you toss the food around without it falling all over your floor. Compared to a deep fat fryer, you used less oil when deep frying.

Non-Stick Pan for Chinese Cooking

Beside common Chinese kitchen equipment such as the rounded bottom wok, non-stick fry pan works well too. Particularly if the sides are high, but cooking dishes like fried rice can be a messy affair.

Most non-stick fry pans do not come with lids either, and that is something else I often use, particularly during simmering.

Personally, I favor non-stick pan with glass lid.

Non-stick pan with glass lid
12" Non-stick Stir-Fry Wok with Glass Cover

Cooking Utensils

If you used the rounded bottom wok, a 14" or 16" metal wok chuan (spatula) will be ideal for Chinese cooking.

However, if you used non-stick pan or wok, metal wok chuans and forks must be avoided at all cost, use a Bamboo Spatula or Nylon Asian Turner. For Chinese cook, I prefer to use a shallower scoop with a longer handle.

Sauces and Seasonings

CornflourAs far as sauces are concerned, I'd recommend a bare minimum of light soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil. Most of my recipes require this combination with standard salt, pepper, sugar and tomato ketchup.

I generally use a cornflour (cornstarch) paste to thicken my sauces. Most Chinese sauces are now easily available in a good supermarket. Chinese supermarkets will stock the rest.

Spices and herb seasonings
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