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A Well Stocked Chinese Pantry - The Must Haves

As I often feature Asian/Chinese dishes on my blog, I find that many people who love Chinese food and would like to prepare it at home, do not have the proper ingredients on hand.  A well stocked pantry is essential to preparing authentic Chinese cuisine. 


So after being asked multiple times, I've decided to post an essential shopping list, so you can properly stock up your pantry. 

When you feel the urge to make some stunning and healthy Chinese food, you should be able to go into the kitchen and pull something together relatively quickly. 

As these ingredients will last quite a long time, an initial stock up will produce many fine meals. You will find that most benefit from being stored in the refrigerator. Additionally, buy the best brand you can find. I find that Lee Kum Kee brand is always good.

This list is 100% vegan. 

Must Haves
Light Soy Sauce
Dark Soy Sauce
Chinkiang Vinegar
Shaoxing Rice Wine
Hot Bean Paste
Chili Paste
Hoisin Sauce
Mirin or Dry Sherry
Distilled Vinegar
Toasted Sesame Oil
Fermented Black Beans
Szechuan Peppercorns
Tien Tsin Chilies, dried. 
Black or Shiitake Mushrooms, dried. 
Chow Mein Noodles
Cornstarch
Vegetable Broth
Peanut, Canola or Sunflower Oil

With these basic pantry ingredients, you can make many stunning Chinese dishes, including recipes from the spicy Sichuan and Hunan regions. Sauces for dumplings and many wonderful noodle dishes.

For the fresh pantry items, I always have the following on hand. 

Garlic
Fresh Ginger Root
White Onions
Green Onions/Scallions
Red Peppers, not the spicy ones.
Tofu
Peanuts
Cashews

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