South East Asian Cooking Equipment and Utensils

South East Asian Cooking Equipment and Utensils

Bamboo skewers - Bamboo skewers are widely used for barbecues and grilled (broiled) foods. They are disposed of after use.

Chopping board - It is worth investing in a solid chopping board. Thick boards provide the best surface and will last for many years.

Citrus zesting tool - The outer peel or zest of citrus fruit imparts a distinctive flavor to many South-east Asian dishes. This tool is designed to remove the zest while leaving behind the bitter white pith of the fruit.

Cleavers - At first sight cleavers may look and feel out of place for domestic use, but they are ideally suited to find chopping and transferring ingredients from chopping board to wok. Small cleavers are used mostly for chopping and shredding fruits and vegetables. They can also be used for the preparation of meat and fish.

Cooking Chopsticks - Extra long chopsticks can be used to stir ingredients in the wok. Their length permits you to keep at a distance from the cooking ingredients.

Draining wire - Draining wires are designed to rest on the side of a wok. They are used mainly for deep-frying.

Food processor - The food processor is a useful alternative to the more traditional pestle and mortar, and is suitable for grinding wet spices.

Large chopping knife - If you are not comfortable using a cleaver, a large Western-style chopping knife can be used instead. Choose one with a deep blade to give you the best control.

Rice paddle - These are generally made from a large section of bamboo. Rice paddles are used to stir and fluff rice after cooking. A pair of chopsticks may also be used for fluffing rice.

Rice saucepan and lid - A good rice saucepan with a close-fitting lid is an essential piece of equipment for South-east Asian cooking. Stainless steel pans with a heavy base are best.

Sharpening stone - Sharpening stones are used for sharpening knives and cleavers. They are available from hardware stores and should be immersed in water before use.

Stainless steel skimmer - Stainless steel skimmer should be used when strong flavors are likely to affect bare metal utensils.

Wire skimmer - Wire skimmers are used to retrieve food from boiling water or hot fat. Bare metal skimmers can retain strong flavors and are therefore not recommended for use with fish-based liquids.

Wok - The wok is used in all parts of South-east Asia. The shape of the wok allows deep-frying and stir-frying in a minimum of fat, thus retaining the freshness and flavor of ingredients.

Wok ladle - Wok ladles are used to stir liquid ingredients while cooking. They are also useful for transferring cooked food to serving bowls.

Wok lid - Wok lids have a large domed surface and are designed to retain moisture given off during cooking. The steam held beneath the lid is often used to keep ingredients from taking on too much color when frying.

Wok Scoop - The wok scoop is designed to make contact with the curved surface of the wok. Most scoops are made of stainless steel and will not retain strong flavors.

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