When you get a craving for Chinese food, it can be tempting to pick up the phone, call in the order, and spend the night relaxing on the couch instead of cooking. While there’s nothing wrong with ordering take-out every once in a while, there are a lot of perks to cooking up your own Chinese dishes! First off, you get to customize your dish any way you want. Want breaded seitan instead of steak with your Hoisin dish? No problem! Want a lot of chili paste but don’t want to pay for extra at a restaurant? Done! Plus, when you make food yourself, you can rest assured that you know every single ingredient going into the final product.

Cooking Chinese food is also a ton of fun! Whether it’s testing out spices, trying out bold ingredients for the first time, or getting to play around with a wok and feel like a professional chef, these are culinary moments you would otherwise miss out on if you succumb to the convenience of take-out. What may not be so fun is figuring out all of the cooking essentials you need to make a tasty a  nd authentic Chinese meal. That is unless you have One Green Planet to help you out! That’s right, we’ve done the research, gathered everything you need to make a killer Chinese dinner, and now are ready to share all of our precious knowledge with you! Here are 15 cooking essentials you should consider getting before hittin’ the kitchen.