Chinese Takeaway Style Cooking Essentials

Chinese takeaway style cooking ingredients on a Chinese supermarket shelf.

A full round up of Chinese Takeaway Style Cooking essentials, ingredients, brands and equipment you can use to make your next fakeaway perfect! This page includes affiliate links that help support the site.

Chinese takeaway and restaurant chefs use a variety of ingredients to create delicious food. When aiming to recreate these tasty dishes then, it’s very helpful to use the same ingredients they do in order to achieve a similar result. As a general rule, Chinese cooking ingredients in UK supermarkets have been distinctly lacking over the years, particularly in their own brand soy sauces which are often very watery and bland. This is changing more recently, with brands such as Lee Kum Kee appearing in places like Tesco.

One way to be sure you’re using similar ingredients to your favourite takeaway chefs is to visit your local Chinese supermarket, if you’re lucky enough to have one nearby. Again, it’s a general rule, but when you find noodles by the kilo and soy sauces by the gallon, you can be pretty sure these are brands and ingredients that takeaways are using in plentiful amounts.

Listed below are some of the ingredients I use most regularly when cooking Chinese takeaway style dishes at home.

A carbon steel wok is a great inexpensive addition to your kitchen if you enjoy cooking Chinese takeaway style dishes. You can find a full guide to choosing, seasoning and using a carbon steel wok here. Another item you might consider is a rice cooker. As well as producing perfect rice, these can also be very useful in allowing extra hob space for other dishes. Some rice cookers also include a handy steaming rack which can be used either on its own or when cooking the rice. This is great for vegetables, and also works very well with frozen dumplings, allowing you to steam an entire starter dish for your meal in the same process as producing perfectly cooked rice.

If you really want to recreate the takeaway experience, foil trays can be useful in keeping dishes warm as you continue to cook a feast. Or, you can choose some attractive serving plates to best showcase your efforts.

Chinese takeaway food in Scotland and around the UK is a cuisine in and of itself, and like many takeaway and fast food dishes across different cultures and countries, the most common and popular menu items are often quite unconnected to authentic or traditional Chinese cuisine. This is not to say that these dishes aren’t absolutely delicious, of course. But, if you’re looking to discover the history and background of more authentic Chinese food as well as learning some delicious recipes, I’d highly recommend Made With Lau, and of course the legendary Ken Hom.

For specifically UK takeaway and fast food style Chinese dishes, you can use the books below (including my own Chinese Takeaway Secret book) to find recipes for all your favourites, from sweet and sour chicken and salt and chilli pork ribs to satay sauce, banana fritters and all that’s in-between.

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