5 Essential Utensils for Cooking Japanese Food

  • HOW TO
  • So you moved to a new land, got yourself a swanky pad, and are going to get to cooking some delicious grub of the land of the rising sun. You may need to stock your kitchen up on the essential ingredients, but you also need some utensils and kitchen goods!

    Get your Japanese kitchen up to par with the following items, they won’t break the bank, and you will look all cool to your friends. Trust me, you WILL look cool.

    1. Earthenware Rice Cooker – (Donabe)

    These are cheap! Basic models costing under or around 2000 Yen. You can find them anywhere that sells kitchen goods, but I often buy them as gifts at home centres for about 1000 – 1500 Yen.

    They standardly are used on gas ranges, and the more expensive ones can be used on IH cooktops. You simply wash your rice, put it in the rice cooker, add the appropriate amount of water and follow the instructions for timing. Standard timing instructions for these cookers are as follows: Cook on medium-high heat until steam and bubbles appear, in about 12-15 minutes, lower the heat to low and cook for another 7 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice set for 10-15 minutes. Mix and serve!

    Why pay 10,000 Yen or more for an electric model? Save space, time, and electricity with these!

    2. Rice Paddle – (Shamoji)

    How else are you going to get that delicious white rice out of your new rice cooker? Certainly not with your hand! That stuff is hot!

    Rice paddles come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. You can pick them up anywhere really, from 100 Yen shops to cooking stores. Prices start at 100 Yen and go up depending on material, color, etc. Some of them are even self-standing.

    One of the more common types found in Japanese kitchens is the bumpy plastic one pictured above. This style of rice paddle gives air pockets here and there to allow the rice to slide off the paddle more smoothly than a standard wooden one. After all, it is sticky rice! I like the look with traditional bamboo paddles, but still use the plastic ones at home, they are just easier to use and wash.

    3. Cooking Chopsticks – (Saibashi)

    Once you try cooking with chopsticks, you will simply never go back to your spatula only way! Prices start at 100 Yen and up.

    Cooking chopsticks are much longer than those meant for eating, and are most often made of wood, or silicone. They are great for all sorts of cooking techniques, from moving around larger veggies in a pot, flipping meat on a fry pan, deep frying foods, or whipping up eggs to make an omelette.

    Speaking of omelettes, you also need one of these:

    4. Japanese Omelette Pan – (Tamagoyakiki)

    These unique rectangular shaped pans are essential for your breakfast routine. Being frying pans, they come in a range of sizes and materials, from single serving to family size, non-stick to copper. I prefer the non-stick smaller ones, as shown above, they don’t break the bank, are easy to wash, and make the perfectly sized omelette. Unless you are feeding a family of 8, get the smaller one, it is sufficient.

    Plan on spending between 1000 Yen to 4000 Yen depending on the brand and quality. Unless you go for the copper ones, those will set you back anywhere from 5000 Yen and beyond. Find them at cookery shops, department stores, or home centres.

    5. Japanese Sauce Pot – (Yukihira Nabe)


    🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿🦊🍽🌿 ・ 長年愛用できるお料理道具を探しに、 行ってみたかった 合羽橋道具街をぶらり探訪してきました🙇✨ ・ ・ あれやこれやたのしすぎて、 いつまでも居れてしまう。。。(笑) ・ ・ 今回はうつわではなく、 手打ち鍋に心奪われ、 連れ帰りました☺️💕 #釜浅商店 でひとめぼれした #姫野寿一 さんの#行平鍋 !! ・ ・ 眺めるだけでわかる、 煮物や汁物がおいしいの、 間違いないこの美しさ!! ˚✧₊⁎❝᷀ົཽ≀ˍ̮ ❝᷀ົཽ⁎⁺˳✧༚ お鍋にこんなに興奮するやなんて。。。(笑) ・ ・ そのあと人生初のアメ横で、 まるで海外のような地下食品街をぶらり歩き、 さいごは月島で焼き肉とミスチルを🥘(笑) ・ ・ お鍋を抱えながらの、 にぎやかな一日でございました🌸 ・ ・ #うつわ好き#うつわ#器#和食器#和食器好き #和食器のある暮らし #お料理大好き #お料理好きな人と繋がりたい #pottery #ceramics #dish#japaneseculture #japanesecuisine#鍋#合羽橋道具街#料理道具#鍋工房

    さやの妄想うちごはん🍙(@saya_01_25)がシェアした投稿 –

    You may have seen these in restaurants, in anime, or on tv, but they are also a standard tool in any Japanese kitchen.

    Due to the material – copper or aluminium – the heat distributes quickly, allowing for fast water boiling, and have a pouring spout on one or both sides. They also cool down quickly too, which is great if you need to make a bunch of different things, and are running out of counter space. After a minute or two, the bottom cools considerably, allowing you to place it on a thin pot holder or a few sheets of newspaper without scorching anything. They are most commonly used for making miso soup in the morning, but are very versatile!

    Prices range on these, you can go all out and get a hand hammered one for 10,000 Yen or more, or pick up a more moderately priced option at a home centre, hardware store, or kitchen shop.
    Usually, they cost anywhere from 1000 Yen to 2000 Yen. From personal experience, I say avoid the super cheap ones at discount shops. The handles on these tend to be heavier than the pots, and they easily tip over if they have nothing in them.

    Now that you have stocked your kitchen, get in there, and start cooking some healthy and delicious Japanese food!

    Related Articles:
    Made in Japan of Cooking tools and funny goods in Kappabashi Dougugai
    Learn to Cook Tamagoyaki – The Easy And Delicious Japanese Dish