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Eric's Kitchen

home of breakaway and fusion cooking


Your Japanese Kitchen and Can’t Do Without Utensils


Japanese Rice Paddle and ContainerIf you like to cook, no matter what style, you will know there are essentials required. For instance, you won’t come across many kitchens in the UK that don’t have things like a fish slice, pots and pans or the odd garlic crusher. We could go on, but the list is endless!

Of course, if you like to cook Japanese food at home there isn’t any reason why you can’t get along with your every-day gadgets. However, this is all you will be doing – getting along! That’s not to say you can’t produce wonderful Japanese dishes without those added extras, but there are some things you should think about adding to your repertoire if you really want to get the best from your food.

This is especially important if you cook Japanese food often. In fact, once you’ve read about the utensils we think you can’t do without, and decide to add one or two the chances are that after a while you’ll wonder how you ever got on without them.

The first one we’ve listed should really be considered a piece of equipment rather than a utensil, and you can actually use it for other dishes you create in the kitchen:

The Rice Cooker!

OK, so you can find information on our blog section that tells you how to create the perfect pan of rice in a traditional way. However, we know not everyone has the time to spend cooking rice (and getting it right first time). If you cook rice more than twice a week, investing in one of these will really help you create the perfect plate of rice.

But beware! Most modern rice cookers come with a “keep warm” option and it’s tempting to hit the button when you’re in a hurry. However, you will be far better off with our next utensil.

Hangiri or Wooden Rice Container

This utensil is essentially a container that allows your rice to breathe once it’s cooked. Yes! For those of you who are novices to cooking rice, it does need to rest. You may think your rice cooker will do this for you, but most models on the market are not made that way. Besides, having an authentic utensil like this in your kitchen will really impress those dinner guests!

A Rice Paddle

Sticking with rice (excuse the pun), some of you may be aware that certain types of rice in Japanese cooking needs a good fluffing once it’s ready. You can do this with a fork but it doesn’t give the best results.

Instead, a rice paddle is designed to do this job and should be part of any Japanese cooking utensil list. There are various types on the market, but if you intend to use it to scoop as well as mix, one that’s slightly curved is a great option.


There are lots of other utensils to learn about with Japanese cooking, but it seems those you use with rice have taken up all the space we have for this week! Our next instalment will discuss other items you need for both novice, and intermediary levels.



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