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helenas

Mortar and Pestle – The Topic

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I have one from Joyce Chen, and i'm not very happy with it. Too small, and i don't like the wooden pestle. So i'm looking for a new mortar. This one looks pretty good...

What are you using? Are you happy with it?

Thank you, helena

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That looks pretty good. I have a bunch of suribachi of various sizes, a Mexican lavastone, a Thai 8 cup. I have no idea where they came from now.

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Granite is the way to go, no question. The 8 inch size is good for most things. I've got a smaller marble one too, and a very pretty wooden one (a gift), but I never use it.

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I have one from Joyce Chen, and i'm not very happy with it. Too small, and i don't like the wooden pestle. So i'm looking for a new mortar. This one looks pretty good...

What are you using? Are you happy with it?

Thank you, helena

Helena - that is exactly the one I have. I wrote recently here about how much I love it - I think it was the Collective Food Diary thread.

v

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From the googled picture it looks like what i have now - Suribachi: probably it's not all-purpose :unsure:


Edited by helenas (log)

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Helena, no. Suribachi are for making gomasio, various pastes and sauces. One uses the ridges in conjunction with the wooden pestle. It won't puree garlic like banging away at the stuff with a granite or metal mortar and pestle would.

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I have a few of the Mexican Lava ones (called Molcajetas) that work well and look pretty cool to. They did require a few hours of breaking in by grinding rock salt to smooth them out a bit.

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I love my Japanese suribachi but since i have really gotten into Thai cooking I think I am going to get a granite one, just like the picture.

I found one for a great price in a Thai store in Tokyo, but I had gone by train and there was no way I was going to carry it back!

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I've got the 8" granite Thai mortar -- it holds about three cups of stuff and is a good size. Really holds up to whacking the sh*t out of tough ingredients. Also have a suribachi that I don't use as often, but that's because I'm not doing as much seed grinding lately.

$40 is kind of pricey for the 8" Thai mortar/pestle, though -- do you have Asian kitchen equipment stores where you live? I got mine for about $20 in Chinatown.

I've heard that the Mexican molcajetes, because they're more porous, tend to absorb soaps and can give off stone grit for a while unless they're very well seasoned. Folks recommend hand-choosing the lava molcahetes to be sure to get a solid one that's not too porous. That's not an issue with the Thai granite one that you showed, though.

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I have a few of the Mexican Lava ones (called Molcajetas) that work well and look pretty cool to. They did require a few hours of breaking in by grinding rock salt to smooth them out a bit.

I seasoned my molcajete by grinding wet, raw rice in it a few times (per Rick Bayless) until the roughest edges of the bowl had been smoothed out and the rice no longer looked dirty. As Bigfoot mentioned, it's best to pick a molcajete "in person" so as not to get one that's too porous.

I also have a very heavy porcelain mortar that resembles the type used in old-fashioned apothecaries. It's cool . . . :cool:

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Helena, I ordered the 8" Thai one from importfoods.com last year. When it came the capacity was only about 2 1/2 cups (less than the 3+ cups promised). I emailed them and they responded immediately with an apology explaining that they are handmade and while they try to check them all for capacity, on occasion a less hollowed-out one gets by.

They offered to either replace it at no charge....or to refund 1/2 my purchase cost (either way it would have cost them them about the same amount by the time they paid for shipping). I didn't feel like packing it up again so chose the 2nd option and sure enough...2 weeks later I received a refund check just as promised.

I was very impressed by the level of their customer service and I love the mortar. It does require extensive rice grinding to season.


Edited by IrishCream (log)

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I'm bumping this topic up because I want a particular mortar and pestle.

Yesterday afternoon I watched the line up of PBS food shows on my local PBS stations and on Tommy Tang's show "Tommy Tang's Let's Get Cooking," he used a HUGE mortar and pestle, quite deep, a modified cone shape (rounded instead of straight sides) and I want one.

I spent a considerable amount of time searching the internet since yesterday afternoon and have had no success on finding anything similar.

He did that part of the show in Thailand (I think), so I can only assume it is an object that is available there.

Earlier today I trekked down to a local Thai store and showed them a sketch I had drawn of the mortar but they couldn't tell me where to find one either.

If anyone knows anything at all about this, I would be most appreciative if you would post it here.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

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$40 is kind of pricey for the 8" Thai mortar/pestle, though -- do you have Asian kitchen equipment stores where you live?  I got mine for about $20 in

Can anyone recommend a Chinese kitchen store in Chinatown in NYC?

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I'm bumping this topic up because I want a particular mortar and pestle.

Yesterday afternoon I watched the line up of PBS food shows on my local PBS stations and on Tommy Tang's show "Tommy Tang's Let's Get Cooking," he used a HUGE mortar and pestle, quite deep, a modified cone shape (rounded instead of straight sides) and I want one

Andie, my guess is that it was a Thai somtam mortar, used to pound green papaya for that particular salad. I have one at home that I got at a local SE Asian market; there's also one mentioned #2. Unfortunately, the one for sale there is wee....

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Does anyone have some good recommendations of how to take good care of your pestle and mortar? I have a Thai granite one, and never know whether washing it with soap will affect the flavour of what I next pound. At the moment I just wash it out with warm water and my hand...

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I just wash my granite one with everything else in the dishwasher. Have for years. Probably violating some materials science edict, but, hey, no problems here.

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In Australia, we tend to use the granite ones. They are available at Asian food shops here.

This link has a picture of one http://www.rockpool.com/np_meet.aspx?meet=tips&tip=72

They are very good if you can find them.

I have those in two different sizes. The one I saw on the TT show looked to be at least 12 inches tall overall, maybe more. The pestle was probably at least that long, comparing it to the size of his hand as he gripped it. I liked the appearance and would like to add one to my collection. Esthetically, it is attractive and it appears to be very useful for pounding such things as ginger and galangal (which is what he was pounding).


Edited by andiesenji (log)

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Another vote for the granite Thai version from importfoods.com

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Another vote for the granite Thai version from importfoods.com

I have that one, and I heartily recommend it as well.

Christine

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Andie, my guess is that it was a Thai somtam mortar, used to pound green papaya for that particular salad. I have one at home that I got at a local SE Asian market; there's also one mentioned #2.  Unfortunately, the one for sale there is wee....

Yeah, that's the one I found a picture of...the Laos mortar. Thanks for finding it for sale somewhere even if out of stock. I would like one for depth alone as I get tired of food flying out onto my counter as I pound away.


Edited by Octaveman (log)

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