A Guide to Basic Pantry Staples for Chinese Cooking

Chinese food has become a staple in cities around the globe, with its sweet and sour, hot and salty flavors that influence cuisines wherever it goes. From the moment you walk into a Chinese restaurant, a burst of aromas hit you like a revelation. The heat of chili peppers, the lightly floral fragrance of steeping oolong tea, and the deep, mouthwatering scent of simmering sauces.

Yet, as much as the world loves Chinese food, most people know little about the ingredients that make it so darn delicious. That’s why we put together a guide to help connect the taste to knowledge so you can start making authentic Chinese recipes at home. We focus on the basic Chinese pantry staples that are used from northwest Xinjiang to southern Hong Kong and will teach you the difference between cellophane noodles and rice vermicelli (and when to use each!).

Whether American orange chicken take-out is your go-to or you are a frequent dim sum goer, this Guide to Chinese Pantry Staples can help you learn about essential pantry ingredients and bring delicious Chinese home cooking to your own kitchen. Download your free guide below and keep reading for a list of fresh ingredients that you should know, even if their shelf life isn’t quite pantry-worthy.

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