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A Chinese Spider Strainer is a commonly used utensil in Chinese cooking. Its great for retrieving food without the fat. The traditional Spider Strainer has a bamboo handle with a wired basket. Modern version will have metal handles with circular rings as its basket. Both version works really well however, there are pros and cons to each one. Metals one are more durable and generally easier to clean. However, they get hot. Traditional one have a better grip and is generally easier to use. The one you choose should really depends on your preference.
Best Chinese Spider Strainer List
Below you will find a list of some of the Best Chinese Spider Strainer on the market. There are two categories you can choose from, I also listed a honorable mention.
Helen Chen’s Asian Kitchen Stainless Steel Spider Strainer
Helen Chen Spider strainer is the type of strainer you will get at a restaurant store. These are the type that Professional Chef will use and it will work just fine in your house. You have a wide selection of size you can choose from. The bigger one is more versatile, however, getting a few smaller size is not a bad idea either.
Hiware Solid Stainless Steel Spider Strainer
For an All Metal Spider Strainer. Hiware Solid Stainless Steel Spider Strainer is a great alternative. The gaps are smaller so things like pasta and smaller objects wont slip through. Plus the smooth texture and all metal design makes it easier to clean. You can stick it in the dishwasher or use a sponge to scrub it.
Winco Stainless Steel Round Skimmer
Winco Stainless Steel Round Skimmer is a very useful strainer/colander. The holes are large so water can get drained easily. You can use it like a colander much like the spider skimmer. Best of all, its easy to clean. The extra surface area make it less likely that sponge will catch on the corner. The only downside is that you have to get your own handle. A wooden stick should work well.
Wood Spider Strainer vs Metal Spider Strainer
I personally think that the traditional spider strainer are still the best. The wooden handle does not transfer heat nor does slip in your hand. They are affordable and does the job well. However, they are not as durable as the all metal one. Expect to replace it every few years. Its also harder to clean due to the irregular shape of the basket.
The metals ones look nice and take more abuse. You can stick it in the dishwasher and running a sponge through it is easy enough. But they do have its drawbacks. For starter, metal will transmit heat. This means if you leave the metal Spider Strainer in a vat of hot oil, the handle will get hot. Another thing is the generally slipperiness of it. If your hand is greasy, its very easy for you to drop it.
Spider Strainer Uses
Most Chef use a Spider Strainer as a strainer for deep fried food. A lot of Chinese dish starts with a blanch of oil. They would then strain it with a Spider Strainer. However, these can also be used for draining various food. You dont have to bring a colander out and the extra handle gives you reach and convenience. Often time I will use a Spider Strainer strainer to drain dumplings, vegetables, fries, gnocchi, buffalo wings and more.
For larger food like deep fried fish, you can use two strainer to lift the fish. Some even use it as a cooling rack.
Size of the Holes
If you intend on using the Spider Strainer just for pasta, then I recommend you get a strainer with smaller gaps. This has less chance of the noodles falling through. The traditional Chinese Spider Strainer has quite large holes. It would be counter productive for that purpose.
Chinese Spider Strainer Thoughts
A Chinese Spider Strainer is a great tool to have. It will make draining and retrieving food a breeze. You will be surprised at just how convenient it is. Its much quicker than a colander and you can hang it on your wall. Once you start using it, its going to be a in-disposable tool.
Want more strainer? Check out our article on the Best Noodle Strainer.