A well-stocked store cupboard makes all the difference when it comes to cooking Chinese dishes. While it’s sometimes tempting to substitute ingredients for easier to source alternatives, for truly authentic Chinese cuisine there can be no shortcuts. Of course, the differences between regional Chinese cuisines are huge, but there are some ingredients which are found in most parts of the country.
Classic Chinese food achieves its legendary status by striking the perfect balance between hot, sour, sweet and savoury flavours, so when you start substituting core ingredients you run the risk of disturbing this delicate balance. All the ingredients on this list will pop up again and again in Chinese recipes, so they are well worth stocking up on.