5 More Favourite Kitchen Tools
Following on from My 10 Favourite Kitchen Tools, here are a few more things that I love in my own kitchen. Have a look and, if you like, let me know what some of your favourite kitchen tools are!
A real kettle
I know that electric kettles are perfectly fine, but there’s something very romantic about boiling water over a flame. My sister gave me this vintage kettle a couple of years ago, and it’s become one of my favourite things. The act of filling the kettle is almost ceremonial each morning and when the water is boiled, instead of an impotent plastic click, it vibrates with a low, musical hum that fills the whole house.
They weren’t even around 10 years ago, but these guys are the business. They’re magical with garlic, ginger, spices like nutmeg and cinnamon, citrus zests and even hard cheeses like parmesan or pecorino. They don’t stay sharp forever, though, so make sure you change them when they wear down.
An oil jug
I do all of my deep frying in a wok, and one of these oil jugs is perfect for dealing with the litres of oil needed. The top is fitted with a fine sieve to strain out any bits, and the oil can be easily poured both in and out. A little cold oil into hot oil in a wok is the best way to reduce oil temperature quickly, and having your frying oil on hand makes oil blanching, shallow frying and deep frying incredibly simple. I think of this as the domestic equivalent of the big oil cauldrons that professional wok chefs use for their stations. Just make sure to change your oil every week or two as it burns, takes on flavor or oxidises.
Any commercial kitchen in the world will have dozens of these strategically stacked around it, and for good reason. They’re incredibly versatile and can be used for grilling, resting meats, covering frypans, arranging prep or basically anything else you can think of. I don’t even use them for pizza. I do that in the oven on a terracotta tile.
Enamel bowls and trays
I love enameled metal bowls and trays. The bowls are sturdy, light and non-reactive. The rectangular trays are perfect for domestic prep and they are the permanent must-have items in Japanese domestic kitchens. Having a good prep tray is as important at home as it is in a restaurant. It’s amazing how just having something as simple as a dedicated prep tray can make such a big difference to the way you cook.
What are some of your favourite things?
I’m like you i can’t live without my real kettle and my rasp graters.
Adam, here in Mexico your MasterChef season just finished. You are really inspiring and you can really tell you know tons about food even when you weren’t properly trained. I’ll keep up with your latest news, i’ll love to have your book, do you mail them all the way to Mexico?
Thanks for your message! So nice to know so many people are watching all over the world. I’m not able to send books myself, but they are available from Amazon and many other places online.
get the kettle with the whistle, when it’s whistle in the morning give a sense of homely feeling………
do you have a restaurant open as yet?
We’re hoping to open a restaurant next year. Very busy at the moment on a lot of other projects.
I wouldn’t be without my immersion stick blender or digital probe thermometer (so i have two!), among several other key tools.
Love your attitude and your first book – got it in hardback for my birthday last year. Also I love hearing about your favourite pieces of kit. It would be great to know where you got some of them though! The oil jug would be a godsend and as you can see from your first post – your pig sticker was very popular!
Where did your sister purchase that kettle? I love it!
Actually she found it when she moved into a new apartment in Malaysia. I’m told you can sometimes find them in antique or junk shops around South East Asia (if you’re lucky)!
I have just purchased Asian After Work and cannot wait to get out and purchase recipe ingredients, especially for your umami sauce.
Do you know there is a Kombu shortage in Australia at the moment.
Can you tell me where to purchase Cheong Chan caramel sauce. I live in Northcote.
Kombu has been very difficult to get hold of in Australia since AQIS put a (ridiculous) restriction on the import of high-iodine seaweeds, effectively meaning that kombu can no longer be brought into Australia. In Asian After Work I generally try to stay clear of kombu as an ingredient, as people can find it difficult to obtain.
Cheong Chan caramel sauce is available from all Asian grocers. It comes in a rectangular bottle with a red label.
Destination Japan was an awesome series!
Thanks for your tip on the pizza pans! I have been trying to figure out what they were for a long time. I know a lot of profession kitchens use these religiously. Who would have thought they were plain old pizza pans. I have seen kitchens that use oval shaped pans, or deep round dishes. They have a matte finish, rather than the polished look. What are they? I have tried to look online for them without any success. Are they called sizzle pans, or mise en place pans? Where do the pros shop for these, and what are they called? These would be a great simple addition to my kitchen for resting meats etc.
Hi Adam, I watched your show on the Bio when I was in Phuket. Great to know that you’re a Malaysian born Chinese! I was totally surprised. Anyway, an episode in destination flavor Japan, you used a non stick pot which has small circular dents all over and I think that’s why it is non stick. May I know where can I find that kind of pot?