Kitchen Tips

How to Use Your Chinese Spider

Eyebrows are raised when someone says they use a Chinese spider in the kitchen. The Chinese spider is actually a rather handy utensil that is used quite commonly in Asian and Dutch kitchens. A wide, shallow, mesh-wire contraption with a long handle (mostly wooden), the Chinese spider is used for removing piping hot food from a liquid (such as boiling water or oil) while making broths or deep-fried snacks.

How to Use Your Chinese Spider

Image Courtesy: Matt Scott used under the Creative Commons Licence

But with large sieves and strainers easily available at most markets, you might wonder if a spider is a real asset in the kitchen. Here’s how you can use a spider in a way that benefits you while making the perfect Chinese meal:

  • Spiders are great while cooking small pieces of food in very hot oil or broth. If you use a slotted spoon, for instance, most of the food gets left behind in the pot or wok. Spiders let you scoop large amounts at once.
  • Spiders also help you cook chicken and whole fish better. You can scoop them out without breaking the foods.
  • The long handle on a spider saves your hand from burning while cooking.
  • This utensil is available in different shapes – if you’re using a large pot, you can opt for a curved spider, so it can scoop out larger quantities of food. If you’re using a flat wok, you can go in for a flatter spider that’s better suited for the shape of the wok.

Caring for your Chinese spider is no different from other kitchen utensils. Wash it well with soapy water. However before dipping it into hot oil, do ensure that it is fully dry as hot oil and water do not mix well.

If you’re planning a meal that includes deep-fried vegetables or meats, try using the Chinese spider. It is easy to use, and easily available in Asian markets.

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