Tis the season… for 云火锅 a virtual hotpot party! With this year being a holiday season like no other, I can’t think of a more warming and comforting meal than hotpot. Better yet, it’s perfectly suited for a socially-distanced dinner party with friends and family.
Skip the supermarket ground pork. For the best texture in Chinese cooking, ground meat should be chopped by hand. A food processor makes it possible in a fraction of the time.
A great kitchen tool brings joy but doesn’t have to be expensive. After extensive research and use, these are the must-have items from my own kitchen. All of them bring way more joy in the kitchen than their prices (all under $20) would suggest, and none of them take up much space.
I’m unlocking the most useful but most mysterious of knife cuts used in Chinese cooking, 切丝 julienne (perfect thin strips). My method is easy, safe, and minimal-waste. Once you master julienne, you’ll take your Chinese stir fries to the next level.
Welcome to my new series, Essential Knife Skills for Chinese Cooking. I’ll be introducing the most common knife cuts in Chinese recipes, with instructional videos that actually work with the produce you have on hand. Compared to many knife skill videos I’ve found online, my methods are based on traditional Chinese knife skills that are minimal waste. Step 1, if you’re struggling with knife work, your tools may be to blame. Fortunately, it doesn’t cost much to set yourself up for success. Here are some of my favorite tools at every price point, along with how to care for them.
Variety is the spice of life. Moving beyond the most basic to essential ingredients for authentic Chinese flavor.
For one of the world’s great cuisines, you need remarkably little to get started with Chinese cooking. The Chinese call basic ingredients 油盐酱醋 (yóu yán jiàng cù), meaning oil, salt, soy sauce, and vinegar. I’ve added a few essentials to expand the repertoire a bit. Everything here is what I use in my own kitchen. My picks are based on extensive reading of taste tests and, more importantly, from trying many brands myself.