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Must-Haves for Easy Chinese Cooking: The Rice Cooker and the Food Chopper

Updated on June 17, 2015

Over the years, my family has found that there are two appliances which are indispensable in our kitchen, where we mainly cook Chinese or Asian style meals. We find them so useful that we have more than one of them in our kitchen, in different sizes! These two appliances? The rice cooker, and the food chopper/mincer.

Rice cooker

This makes it child's play to cook rice. Just add water to the rice grains, and the rice cooker does everything for you, going into keep-warm mode when rice is done, or shutting itself off, depending on the model you have.

The steaming tray. When you get a rice cooker, make sure to purchase one with a steaming tray that fits nicely on top. The tray makes it extremely convenient to steam vegetables (or some other dish) with your rice. Saves electricity, and saves your time too.

With the steaming tray, you can even use your rice cooker as a food steamer. Instead of putting in rice grains, just add water to the rice pot. Then place your dish in the steaming tray. All you'll have to do is to remember to switch the rice cooker off yourself once your dish is done.

Food chopper

We've been using the food chopper/mincer in our kitchen for more than twenty years, and it's still one of the most-utilised items. In the Chinese kitchen, the chopper makes short work of:

  • chopping garlic and/or onions
  • chopping dried prawns or Chinese sausages, which we use for making friend rice
  • mincing meat, prawns and/or fish, which we often use to make minced pork dishes, or prawn/fish patties.
  • blending chilli/onion/spices into a chilli paste, etc.

If you have a large family or you like to cook in large quantities, you could get a food processor instead.

[ Handy Tip: Chop a bowl of garlic, cover and keep in your fridge for future use. Keeps for up to a week.]


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    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 

      10 years ago from San Francisco

      Although it's not really an appliance, one thing I'd like to buy is a wok. Do you have any advice on how to choose one? I have gas burners. Thank you for an informative hub.

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 

      10 years ago from New Brunswick

      My rice cooker is an indispensable tool which sees considerable use.


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