8 Most Common Chinese Cooking Methods

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Chinese cooking methods is popularly known not only to its neighboring countries but all over the world as well. Chinese cooking involves different methods of combining the ingredients used for cooking while at the same time keeping in mind the cooking process and the equipment used for cooking. In China, there are different methods of cooking but in today’s post, we will only be talking about the most common Chinese cooking methods.

Common Chinese Cooking Methods

Each of these cooking methods in many Chinese foods aims to conserve the nutrients and flavors of the ingredients used in Chinese cooking. The different ingredients used are cooked using the different methods of cooking, but the same ingredients can still be used in cooking Chinese dishes to give different kinds of flavors and taste. Listed below are the common Chinese cooking methods used in China.

Stir Fry Method

The most commonly used Chinese cooking method is Stir-frying. The Stir frying method involves frying the ingredients with cooking oil in high heat while at the same time stirring and tossing the small amount of ingredients in a Wok (deep round-bottomed cooking pot). Most of the time, edible cooking oil is being use.

The stir fry process only involves a short period of time that way nutrition of the ingredients will be preserved. That is why Chinese restaurants can cook stir fry dishes very fast.

The Stir fried meat usually results in a juicy, flavorful and tender while the vegetables becomes crisps, bright and tender

Examples of Stir fry dishes includes Chicken Chow Mein, Beef Broccoli dish and pork Chop suey.

The three most important key points to remember for a good stir frying methods are the following:

  1. The wok should be super hot. The flavors are taken from the high heat.
  2. The meat should be cooked and tossed first in the wok.
  3. After cooking the meat, remove the meat and then tossed in the vegetables. This process will prevent the meat from overcooking.
  4. Once Stir fry process is done, make sure to served immediately.

The cooking utensils that are usually used in Stir Frying are the wok and the wok spatula. A gas stove is usually used, but an electric stove will do.

Deep Frying

The deep frying cooking method is used if you want to have a crispy texture food. Similar with stir frying method, it also fry different meats and vegetables in edible oil on high heat temperature. Though the difference is that with deep frying more edible oil is used as compared to the stir frying method.

The cooking utensils used for deep frying method includes a deep fryer or a deep saucepan since it involves dipping the ingredients in deep hot oil. Other utensils includes the long chopsticks and the Chinese scoop strainer (this will help contain the Chinese foods in the deep saucepan or deep fryer, and also used to strain the cooked foods when removing it from the cooking oil)

When using deep frying method, it is recommended to cut the ingredients into medium-sized pieces. The chunks of meat are then soaked in seasonings, then deep fried the meat in deep hot oil. If you will choose to coat the meat, the crispiness of the meat will depend on the amount of coating used.


Steaming is another cooking method in China. With the steaming method, the freshness and the nutrients of the ingredients are retained that is why it is considered to be a healthy cooking techniques. A cooking method used for cooking buns and dumplings.

In Steaming method, only a small amount of edible oil are used as well as few seasonings as well.

The cooking utensils used in Steaming can either be a stainless steel steamer, a bamboo steamer or you can also use a metal steamer.

You are able to stack bamboo steamers on top of each other therefore it is possible to cook more than one dishes at the same time thus time and fuel energy are saved. If steaming food more than one dish at the same time, it is advisable to place the dish at the bottom layer of the steamer that needs more cooking time while the dish that needs less cooking time should be placed on top. Keep in mind to make sure that heat resistant plate or bowl is used for steaming.

The process of steaming includes putting the dish or the ingredients in the bamboo steamer basket. The basket is then placed on top of water in a steamer pot. Make sure that the water should not touch the food during the boiling process while at the same time constantly checking the water level so as not to boil dry your ingredients.

Some of the popular steamed dishes are dumplings, buns, dim sum and steamed fish.


Braising method involves adding the ingredients and the seasonings in either a wok or a saucepan with water. Allowing the combined ingredients to boil in high temperature. Then allow it to simmer using low temperature (at least an hour or so).

Braising usually used large cut pieces of the ingredients. With this cooking technique, the food will be thoroughly cooked.

If you will be braising animal ingredients, it is recommended to remove the small by boiling it first with water and then rinsing it well using clean water.

In the Braising method, the utensils that are usually used are a wok, a saucepan or a stew pot.

Some of the popular braising Chinese dishes includes braised beef with potatoes, braised chicken and braised fish. Braised fish are usually added with seasoned liquid such as a soy sauce, wine, vinegar and sugar.


Roasting is a cooking method that involves cooking food in an oven or an open flame of charcoal. The common Chinese foods that uses this method are whole sheep or its legs, a whole pig or a whole chicken and a duck.

Before roasting, the Chinese food is prepared by rinsing it well with clean water, seasoned (rubbed on the outside) and then moistened with edible oil. The prepared food is then placed over the fire or in the over. To make the skin of the meat crispy, it is recommended to seared the meat first.

After the roasting process, most of the time the meat is chopped into small or medium sized pieces of cuts and then placed and displayed on a platter. Best serve with a delicious sauce, usually comes from the drippings of the meat.

The most popular roasted dish is the Peking Duck, a Chinese dish that includes duck meat that are roasted with duck skin that are crispy.

Red Stewing

The Red Stewing method or also called Red Cooking is a unique cooking method in China. This method is usually used to cook cuts of meat and poultry.

The utensils used in this type of cooking method includes a stew pot or you can also use a slow cooker machine.

In Cooking food using this method, food is usually cooked over low flame. Once the meat reaches its brownish texture, ingredients such as soy sauce, wine, sugar, ginger, chili powder, cilantro and the five-spice powder are added. The time it will take for the meat to become tender depends on the meat used. After the cooking process, the sauce of the dish is usually dark brown hence the name of the method suggests.

The most popular Chinese dish that uses this cooking methods are red cooked fish and red cooked spare ribs.


Boiling is the most simple and easiest type of cooking method used in Chinese cuisine. Other than that, it is the quickest method than the rest of the methods mentioned above. With the boiling method, the texture shape and color of the ingredients are preserved as well as the nutrients.

The cooking utensils used with this method includes a wok, Chinese scoop strainer and a chopsticks.

The method is done by simply putting the foods in a boiling water. But first, the ingredients should be washed first. Then cut into small sized pieces. The pieces are then placed into boiling broth or boiling water. Once ingredients are fully cooked, it will be drained and then served. Seasonings and other sauces can be used to enhance the flavor of the boiled ingredients.

The most popular Chinese dish that uses the boiling method includes the tomato and egg soup, and the Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce.

Shallow Frying

Shallow Frying is another Chinese cooking techniques. When compared with the deep frying technique, the difference between the two is that amount of edible oil used wherein with shallow frying uses less amount of oil. And it also involved low heat as compared to stir frying method.

Cook Chinese dishes from the shallow frying method are usually tender on its inside while at the same time appears to be golden on the outside.

The common ingredients used for this method are those that are cut into thin slice or flattened. Seasonings are then brushed to the ingredient. If you the outside of the meat to be crispy, you have the option to coat it with corn starch after it is being seasoned.

The shallow frying process involved frying first the one side of the meat then turning it to the other side once it has turned brown or already has a crispy texture.

Tips when using Chinese cooking methods

  • Safety First – make sure that water and oil do not mix when boiling water so as hot oil and water do not also mix.
  • When frying ingredients, make sure to drain excess water on the food before placing over heated oi.
  • For small bathes of Chinese food you can use small pot but for big batches, it is best to use a bigger and a larger cooking pot. In other words, make sure to use the right pot size when cooking Chinese foods.
  • Chinese recipes have directions regarding the right temperature for the oil, make sure to follow the directions correctly


What is the most popular Cooking method used in China?

The most popular Chinese cooking method used in China is the Stir fry method. Aside from it is quick, it is also a simple method. Simply toss all the ingredients in a cooking wok then cook over high heat.

What are the three types of Frying?

The three types of Frying are Deep Frying, Pan Frying and Stir Frying

What foods can be shallow fried?

Foods that can be cooked using the shallow fried method includes meat, potatoes, fish and patties.

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