A good friend of mine moved into a new studio apartment and was in need of basic kitchen supplies. This was the perfect time to declutter my kitchen. Always look out for opportunities in your life to unload stuff onto other people who are in need. It’s a win-win.
In the process, I thought about which kitchen tools added the most value to my life and picked these 3 finalists. They were chosen for their simplicity, effectiveness, and durability. It just so happens that all these tools originated in Asia ages ago and can be found at your local chinatown or online for only a few bucks.
The tool on the left is a southeast asian multi-tool. It can peel and slice vegetables, remove scales from fish, and open bottles. It’s blade is much sharper than your average vegetable peeler and can be sharpened as needed. I use this tool to peel potatoes, carrots, apples, and to create paper thin slices of cucumber and ginger. But mostly, I use it to crack open beer bottles.
The tool in the middle is a Japanese stone knife sharpener. This simple tool will keep your knives sharp forever. I’ve never had to replace my knives or pay to get my knives professionally sharpened. It is indestructible and will last a lifetime. It’s handy to have around for other purposes too, like crushing nuts, ice, or tenderizing meat. There’s lots of youtube videos out there on how to sharpen knives with a stone (warning: many of the videos feel a bit creepy and are made by people obsessed with knives)
The tool on the right is my dear phin (vietnamese coffee maker that I’ve written about before) which is made of stainless steel and can make a nice bold cup of french roast in under 2 minutes, and washes clean in under 10 seconds with just a quick rinse under warm water. I can see myself using this for the rest of my life. With this, there’s no need for electric cords, counter space, or messy coffee filters.
What are some of your most hard working tools in the kitchen?