18 Sep 2023

Tried-and-True Tools of a Japanese Kitchen

Step into our kitchen and see how commonly used Japanese kitchen tools play a pivotal role in crafting "Washoku," Japanese cuisine. Just as Japanese tableware emanates warmth and unique character, these culinary instruments are deeply rooted in Japan's food heritage.

These tools do more than just assist in crafting appetizing dishes; they ensure each step is safe, the presentation inviting, and flavors authentic. Made with care and echoing tradition, they transform cooking experiences into a comforting ritual. Come along and explore these trusty tools, uncovering practical tips to add a touch of magic to your cooking and dining.


  • The Basic Cooking Chopsticks
  • The Versatile Donabe Clay Pot
  • Lustrous Lacquerware Ladle
  • The Multi-Purpose Sauce Container
  • Handy Sauce Plates

The Basic Cooking Chopsticks

Known as "Sai-bashi," cooking chopsticks are essential tools in the preparation of a Japanese meal. While dining chopsticks typically measure between 21 to 23 cm (8.3 to 9.1 in), cooking chopsticks are about 1.5 times longer. This added length truly makes a difference. Whether you're simmering noodles or frying tempura, these chopsticks ensure your hands stay safely away from hot, sizzling pots. When it comes to precision in plating, the prowess of these chopsticks is unmatched; whether you need to pick up a single slice of sashimi or just one tiny bean, they've got you covered.

While there's an array of cooking chopsticks available, investing in a high-quality pair is recommended, especially for your first set. Premium chopsticks stand up to frequent use without splintering, breaking, or bending out of shape. Once you get familiar with using a quality pair of cooking chopsticks, you'll soon recognize how they effortlessly elevate many kitchen tasks.

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The Versatile Donabe Clay Pot

The Donabe clay pot, recognized for its robust texture and generous size, often finds its moment during traditional hot pot dinners. Crafted from unique clay, it's designed to withstand direct flame, making it actually ideal for daily use, especially during the colder months. While it excels in preparing soups and stews, its design also lends itself beautifully to crafting aromatic rice dishes.

Every meal served in a Donabe benefits from its unparalleled heat retention, and its timeless design adds a rustic elegance, promising a heartwarming dining experience every time.

Imagine placing a hearty Tonjiru pork soup in a Donabe right at the center of a dining setting – the effect is simply enchanting. 

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Paired with the shuro palm trivet on a countertop or table, the Donabe clay pot forms an unbeatable duo.

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Lustrous Lacquerware Ladle

While metal ladles get the job done, a lacquerware ladle becomes the preferred choice when serving hearty soups or stews like "Oden." Its softly rounded edges protect delicate ingredients, ensuring dishes remain as visually appealing as they are delicious.

Lacquerware ladles can also double as stylish servingware. Their luminous finish and ergonomic design transform even the simplest of dishes into elegant servings.

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The following two are tableware pieces that prove invaluable in a kitchen

The Multi-Purpose Sauce Container

Don't let its name fool you; this container isn't solely for sauces. Use it for blending starch with water when thickening a sauce and also a pre-mixing bowl for seasonings in dishes like ginger pork or teriyaki chicken. Its thoughtfully crafted spout guarantees an even pour every time. 

Perfectly sized for preparing a dinner for two, a sauce container can keep a prime spot at the front of your cupboard.

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Handy Sauce Plates

Besides the usual dip for sushi or sashimi, small sauce plates can be used in a variety of ways. They're wonderful for tasting dishes in-the-making. Want a nibble of stewed vegetables or a sip of miso soup? Small sauce plates are your go-to. Keeping a set on your counter ensures they're always ready for taste-testing or resting utensils.

Have any odd little sauce plates tucked away in the back of your cupboard? Bring them out! They can be little helpers in fine-tuning the flavors of your dishes.

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Every kitchen tells a story. In a Japanese kitchen, these timeless tools play the leading roles. The items we've highlighted are staples in many Japanese households today, perfectly marrying functionality with tradition. Designed to enhance aesthetics with a dash of Japanese grace, they will also streamline and refine your culinary journey. Enjoy making Japanese cuisine with these trustworthy allies by your side.