8 things you may find in a Chinese household

Here are some examples of what you will most likely see


CCO licensed photo by wongpk/WordPress Photo Directory

Sometimes the oriental theme like pairs of stone lions, red lanterns and banners with Chinese calligraphy can be misleading. But if you find the following items in the house, then you can almost be certain that you’re in a Chinese household.

Soy sauces

Christie Yeung

As one of the main food seasonings in Asian dishes, soy sauce is essential to Chinese households. You will most likely find multiple versions of soy sauce. For example, depending on the brand, it can have different combinations of sweetness and saltiness. There are also varieties of soy that serve other purposes, from coloring to use specifically for certain dishes.

Remedies and ointments

Christie Yeung

If you ever get hurt or feel sick in a Chinese household, don’t worry. There is usually a remedy or ointment for whatever to help you. From a burn to a stomach ache, one of these will help to fix the issue. For example, the Beijing Baoshutang Bao Fu Ling Cream is recommended to treat burns, muscle pain, itching, skin irritation and more. The Sanjin Watermelon Frost is often used to treat the annoying painful mouth ulcers.

Rice paddles

Christie Yeung

Having a rice cooker in a Chinese household is almost a given since rice is usually a big part of a meal. Many also live by the rule of “Never throw anything away unless it’s broken.” You are almost guaranteed to find more rice paddles than rice cookers in the house.


Christie Yeung

Uncle Roger would approve any kitchen with a wok. It is an important cookware that allows people to use different cooking techniques, such as deep frying, steaming, boiling, braising and especially, stir-frying. Fried rice is one of the staple dishes in Chinese cuisine and a wok is truly a must-have for making this dish. Don’t make Uncle Roger come after you and ask “Where your wok?”


Christie Yeung

One of the most used utensils in Asian cuisine is chopsticks and sometimes one pair is just not enough. So when you open one of the kitchen’s drawers, you will see multiple sets of chopsticks. In my parents’ house, there are “only” four sets.

Dried food

Christie Yeung

Speaking of eating, when you look inside the pantry or the refrigerator, oftentimes you will see bags or boxes of mystery items, mostly dried food. From baby shrimps to mushrooms to bean curd to lily bulbs, many are “secret” ingredients from mom’s special soup.

Hot sauce

Christie Yeung

Although spicy is not everyone’s favorite, many Chinese people love to spice up their lives. Their lives would not be complete without a collection of hot sauce. Like soy sauce, there are different types of hot sauces with combinations of spicy and numbness, sometimes with a hint of sweetness or sourness.


Christie Yeung

It’s tea lovers’ heaven! Whether for thirst, after a meal, or between meals, some people enjoy having a cup of tea – sometimes multiple cups. Therefore, it only makes sense to have at least a full shelf collection of about 10 to 20 types of tea, from green tea to black tea.