A Chinois is a Conical Strainer that Resembles a Chinese Hat.
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The imprecise cook refers to both types of strainers as Chinois and/or China Caps because of their distinct conical hat shape. The formal definition for the Chinois Etamine (the bouillon strainer), is a fine strainer most commonly referred to as the Chinois. The coarser meshed Perforated Chinois is most often called a china cap.

Often a Chinois has a handle and a hook, so it can be held or hooked on the rim of a pot or pan.


There are two types of Chinois in the kitchen. Both are conical liquid strainers shaped like ancient Chinese hats, hence the name “China Cap” and/or “Chinois,” which means “Chinese” in French.