Chinese food may sometimes seem to have an irreversibly long ingredient list. In addition, if you want to cook several dishes, you may feel like buying a home. But usually the ingredients go back to the different recipes, and many of them last in the refrigerator for a long time. And I mean really long. A couple of years. If you buy a rich base of ingredients, you can cook a considerable amount of dishes.

Here is a list of things that I always have at home in refrigerators and pantries. Some are available in regular food stores, but you can buy the original ones directly from China. Read more about importing from China here.

Dry Goods

  • Black fermented beans.  The can last for infinity.
  • Dried chili
  • Sichiuan pepper
  • Dried mushrooms
  • Five spices (a Chinese spice mix with star anise, fennel, cinnamon, carnation, sichuan pepper)
  • Jasmine rice
  • Wheat Noodles

Sauces and tubes

  • Light Chinese Soya of High Quality
  • Dark Chinese Soya of high quality
  • Black rice vinegar
  • Rice wine (you can often use sake, it also stays very long time in the fridge)
  • Chili sauce
  • Chili sprouts (finely chopped dried chili in oil, amazingly good in soup or rice)
  • peanut oil
  • Sesame oil

In the freezer

  • Wonton dough sheets

In the fridge

  • Ginger, ginger and ginger
  • Garlic
  • Chili

Yap, that’s all. Add some pork, chicken, coriander and some leafy vegetables, and you can cook everything. (OK, maybe not everything, but still.)

If you want to read more about importing from china here you should consider some of these top ingredients for Chinese food:

  1. Chinese mushrooms

You can find these both fresh and dried. They even have a stronger flavor than shitake mushrooms. If you want to add some meaty flavor to Chinese dishes then this is the ingredient to add.

When you soak dried mushrooms you can even  add the soaking liquid to soups and sauces. You can find this ingredient in various Asian markets and stores. Mushrooms are technically fungi but that shouldn’t prevent you from adding them to your dishes. :They’re not only full of flavor but also are full of vitamins and minerals to benefit your health.

  1. Chili sauce

If you want to spice up your life this is one of the best ingredients to add. You can add a little or a lot of chili sauce to your Chinese dishes. It can help to add some extra zing to dishes that are already super-tasty. When picking a sauce you can also pick between mild, medium, and spicy, which adds more flexibility to your cooking.

  1. Rice Vinegar

This is vinegar that’s less mild and acidic than US vinegars. Rice vinegars are used for things like stir fries and dipping sauces.

  1. Black Beans

You can find various versions like fermented black beans. When you shop for the beans look for ones that are flavored with tangerine peel and ginger. When you make black bean sauce you’ll just need a tablespoon of these ingredients when making your own black bean sauce. The sauce is full of flavor and can help to add some zing to just about any Chinese dish. Make sure to consider fermented black beans to get the most flavor from the beans.

  1. Hoisin Sauce

This is a condiment that has a flavor that’s a little sweet and smoky. It’s an excellent option for spare ribs and stir fries. Many fans of Chinese food are more familiar with soy sauce. However, this is another excellent option for various types of dishes. The key is to consider the types of dishes you’re preparing.

  1. Soy Sauce

You can find various types of soy sauce for Chinese cooking. One of the best options is dark soy sauce since it’s a little sweeter than other varieties. It’s a great option for stir-fries and braises. Another benefit is if you’re looking for less salty soy sauce this is a good option. There’s many soy products on the market today and they’re often used as a substitute for milk.

  1. Ginger

Here’s one of the most important and common herbs used in Chinese cooking. The great thing about ginger is it can add some pep while also tenderizing meat. Yet another benefit of ginger is it can help to reduce gamey taste and fishy odor. This will help to provide a better experience for your diners. When picking ginger make sure it has a thin smooth skin and is heavy. This will help you make the best choice.