Hello, I am not necessarily new to cooking, but after moving in with my meat-eating boyfriend (i am vegetarian), I have become more motivated to cook different foods, etc. He LOVES chinese, and well, I am willing to try new recipes and new things, but wanted to first get some ideas on what are the most essential chinese spices I should buy. I did a little bit of brief research and found:
--hot red pepper flakes
--what about coriander or fennel or cloves? I see that sometimes too.
Am I missing any and/or are any of these not really used that much (if so, I won't waste my money!)? I just want the most often used.