The thing about Asian recipes is you can make them in regular pots and pans that you already have in your kitchen. But if you are one of those who like to cook according to the authentic style using the right ingredients and cookware items, you will need a few utensils specifically meant for Asian recipes.
1. Cast iron or carbon steel wok
The wok is a crucial utensil for Asian recipes. You can use it to roast, stir-fry, pan-fry, braise, boil, and steam foods in it. Once you season the wok properly, it becomes non-sticky. Most Asian dishes call for high heat while cooking. And a cast iron or carbon steel wok can withstand that heat that regular non-stick pans can’t. You may find woks made of other materials like stainless steel, Teflon, or aluminum, but stick to carbon steel or cast iron because of their longevity.
2. Wok ladle and spatula
A wok spatula and ladle go hand in hand with a wok. It is best to pick one that has a wooden handle. Although stainless steel ladles and spatulas look stylish, they conduct heat quickly. You may get a burn if you touch them after leaving them in the wok for long. Stainless steel ladles and spatulas also become oily after cooking for a while. It may become tough to grip them properly while cooking.
3. Bamboo wok brush
Cleaning the wok is important before making any dish. Instead of cleaning the wok with water and soap every time, you can use a bamboo wok brush. The brush removes any food residue that may remain in unattended areas on the wok after cleaning. Washing the wok with soap after every dish removes the oil that your wok needs for seasoning. Using the bamboo wok brush gives a nice patina that makes your wok long-lasting. But make sure you clean the brush after you finish cooking to prevent the buildup of food particles in it.
4. Deep fry rack
Many Asian recipes involve deep-frying the chicken or any other meat and later putting them in a gravy sauce. But keeping the deep-fried meat on a flat plate may make them mushy because the oil makes their coating soft. And that is why you need a deep fry rack that hangs on the inside of the wok. It allows the excess oil to drain over time, keeping the fried items nice and crispy. All you need to do is pick the fried items from the wok using your spatula and transfer them into the deep-fry rack.
5. Electric rice cooker
Rice is a staple food in Asian cuisine. Sure, you can cook rice on your stovetop, but it’s more convenient to cook on an electric rice cooker. You only have to fill the cooker with water and the rinsed uncooked rice. Make sure you don’t cross the water limit marked on the side. Turn the rice cooker on. Making rice on an electric rice cooker ensures that you don’t get undercooked, brunet, or mushy rice. Additionally, you can cook the rice ahead of time as the rice cooker allows you to warm it within a few seconds.
6. Chinese cleaver
Most people find a Chinese cleaver intimidating because of its sharpness, but it’s very helpful for cutting meat like pork ribs and chicken. Many Asian dishes require you to cut pork ribs into little pieces. Your regular knife won’t be able to cut them into such delicate slices. Moreover, a Chinese cleaver also allows you to cut the pork ribs that a chef’s knife can’t handle.
7. Bamboo skimmer
A bamboo skimmer or spider skimmer comes in handy when you have to pick deep-fried food from your wok. It picks more food than your wok spatula. Bamboo skimmers are available in various sizes. The larger ones are suitable for blanching noodles and vegetables, while the smaller ones are ideal for deep-frying meat and picking them.
Apart from these seven must-use cookware items, you can also use a wok lid, bamboo steamers, and mortar and pestle. It is easy to make Asian recipes because you only need to stir-fry most of the dishes. Using these cookware items will provide authenticity to the dishes, and you can call yourself an Asian recipe pro.