Equipment: Chinese Cleaver

The Chinese cleaver(菜刀 – cai dao – tsai [rhymes with English “eye”.. and no silent T!] doll; “vegetable knife”)has a terrible English translation. It looks like a cleaver, but the English name suggests that it is also used like a cleaver. The Chinese name, cai dao, literally “vegetable knife”, tells its true meaning. This knife is used to cut vegetables, as well as meat. It can also cut through chicken bones, but I think pork and beef bones are too large for a cai dao to cut through. You can find one at a Chinese supermarket for about $7, and it is made of stainless steel. Mine is very old, and it is from Yangjiang, China. I’m not completely sure if it is the same Yangjiang as the Yangjiang that produces fermented black beans. You will also need a cutting board and this rectangular stone block that sharpens the knife; I don’t know the English name (I’m not very good with English terms in the kitchen). This knife is unnecessary if you have a western chef’s knife or other knife that can cut both vegetables and meat. You can just use that instead.

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