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Japanese Kitchen Gadgets & Equipment


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I also love to use my donabe for making fondue, but that isn't exactly Japanese food, is it.....?

torakris, you are the best! :wub: you just saved me some money! i have had my eye on this fancy fondue set, but i am going to try the nabe instead.

thanks for the tip!

"Thy food shall be thy medicine" -Hippocrates

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Thank you for the links and ideas! Now I just have to get busy :-)

Now I have a question for you. I've long wanted to by a nabe and konro (gas burner) here in Japan and bring them home as a souvenir. But I imagine the gas cartridges would have to be smuggled. Did you have any trouble bringing them home? And are you able to find refill cartridges?

What do you mean by gas cartridges? When we had nabe, each time it was heated with a little candle underneath the pot that helped finish cooking the nabe and went out after about 15 minutes. We bought a 25 pack of these special blue candles and had no problem getting them back. My husband reckons they'll be easy to find in camping stores.

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Did you look at this thread on cooking beans in a clay pot? Something I've been pondering doing for a while.

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=34843&hl=

I wouldn't put a donabe in the oven (some are fine, some are *not*, knowledge gained while working at a Chinese grocery/general store in the '70s!), but it might make a good beanpot.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 1 month later...

I am moving to Japan in the fall. As an avid home and semi professional cook I am of course thinking about kitchen equipment more than the fact that I don't have an apartment yet. Can you find single or duel hob induction cookers in Japan for home use? Is Japan going through a similar induction revolution that is supposedly going on in America? Is induction technology prohibitively expensive there?

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I saw lots of restaurant-purpose induction cooking equipment at the Hoteres show this March as well as at last year's.

I'm quite fond of the induction-cooking nabe which can be used to make things like yudoufu, tounyuu nabe, and other simmered "one-pot" dishes (nabe-ryouri) by placing a metal induction grate inside very rustic-looking paper-lined bamboo pots. (Caveat: the paper and the bamboo are probably not just ordinary paper or bamboo). These are common in restaurants, but I believe the induction cookers that are placed table-top are not dramatically expensive per unit. I'm not quite sure of pricing as I never tried to import them, but I sure liked the idea.

I bet these devices are cheaper than the type of induction wok setup that Ming Tsai has popularized.

This kind of induction cookier:

http://hongfa.en.alibaba.com/product/50038...ion_Cooker.html

Is often found in efficiency apartments and short-term studios (like weekly/monthly "manshon".) I didn't have a chance to use the one that was in my Weekly Mansion Tokyo place in Akasaka, but I suspect it's not the most powerful type. I usually end up with a sealed electric burner since I've recently usually stayed in a weekly studio in Nishi-Shinjuku. That particular electric burner was always miserably bad. I think that these smaller induction cookers are only slightly more expensive than electric burners.

For induction cooking for purposes like high-heat sauteeing, I think this are similarly expensive in the US and Japan. You might pay more for the extra layers of distribution channels if you buy at retail in Japan, but I don't think they would be shockingly more than the ones meant for home cooks here. Of course, since the last time I checked those ran $800-3000 in the US, I'm not sure what to expect in Japan.

I am moving to Japan in the fall. As an avid home and semi professional cook I am of course thinking about kitchen equipment more than the fact that I don't have an apartment yet. Can you find single or duel hob induction cookers in Japan for home use? Is Japan going through a similar induction revolution that is supposedly going on in America? Is induction technology prohibitively expensive there?

Jason Truesdell

Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

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You might try checking this website (or giving them a call)

I recently bought a portable induction unit that they make. The box contained 2 instruction sets, one was in Japanese. So I'm guessing that they may manufacture one for use there. I learned about them from andiesenji (various induction-related topics here)

They don't sell directly but I got someone on the phone and they referred me to some distributors. Sunpentown website

Haven't made too much but I have liked being able to cook up a pot of pasta without adding extra heat to the kitchen.

jayne

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IH is quite popular in Japan and has been for a couple years now. Many new homes now come with IH ranges built in.

Rental apartments in Japan are furnished with absolutely nothing so you will need to bring in your own stove top. Two burner portable ones look like this, the price given 150,000 yen (about $1,500) is suggested retail and you should be able to find one for quite a bit less even under $1,000.

How long do you plan on being here?

If it is going to be a short time you might want to instead consider a portable one burner type, like the ones the Japanese use for nabes. Here are a variety to choose from, these average a little over $100 (10,000yen )

What part of Japan will you be in?

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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the nabe ones are interesting, look very portable, and the price is right. Right now I have an outdoor wok burner that is very powerful and a glass top electric range in the kitchen. this setup is great because I do all the high power/smokey stuff outside and anything involving liquid that needs to be at a certain temperature inside. maybe a combination of induction and gas would be ideal. I am moving to the tokyo area at first but may wander, I will be there for an undetermined amount of time after the 1st year, which I will likely commit to. I am planing to live frugally in an apaato with less than desirably proximity to a station, just a place to cook and sleep.

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I've used this one at my cooking class (I think it's that one, but I'm not 100% sure). I really like it, though I haven't used it for anything more than making custards or caramel. It's very responsive--goes from high to low in no time flat. I'm thinking of getting one, too, although I don't know if I'll be able to use it when I return to Canada....And that would really be why I'd be buying it!

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As torakris implies, we use the term IH, not induction, as in "IH cooking heater".

My wife and I opted for propane gas for our new house partly because of the possible risks of IH cooking heaters.

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I'm thinking of getting one, too, although I don't know if I'll be able to use it when I return to Canada....And that would really be why I'd be buying it!

You can definitely use it here in Canada, provided you purchase a step-up voltage transformer. (We use a variety of Japanese electronics in our household including a rice cooker, stereo equipment, keyboard, etc.)

However, the unit you mention is a 1400W model. A 1400W transformer will cost you a pretty penny, like these for around US$120 (shipping extra):

http://transadapt.com/voltage-vr.html

http://www.buytravelconverter.com/transfor..._100v/index.asp

Of course, you may be able to find a cheaper large capacity step-up transformer in Akihabara, but these units can be quite heavy so are best shipped by sea/container with your household goods.

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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  • 1 month later...

My friend and I eat korean food last night got into a discussion about J-food. We were talking about the difference in korean spoons and chinease spoons. However we couldn't figure out if at a janpanease table if a spoon is set. If so what do they look like?

My friend was recently in japan and he said he got spoon that were basically chinease spoons.

Soup

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It depends on the purpose. It's considered perfectly acceptable to drink from a bowl in Japan so there's typically no spoon for miso soup or clear soup (the often metal bowls for Korean doenjang soup or or stone or other large bowls for jjigae make that impractical in Korea), and as I recall the same was true for ramen, soba, or udon.

Small spoons are often used for oshiroko and similar soupy sweets, and of course for things like anmitsu and mitsumame. These might be lacquered wood spoons with fairly small scooping edge.

There are scoops sometimes used for nabemono, but these usually help drain the soup. The renge or chinese spoon might be offered for some dishes. I think we had one for a custardy tofu "nabe" in a soy milk broth, for example.

Western-style spoons are used for western foods and occasionally are offered in restaurants, and presented with coffee or cakes.

My friend and I eat korean food last night got into a discussion about J-food.  We were talking about the difference in korean spoons and chinease spoons.  However we couldn't figure out if at a janpanease table if a spoon is set.  If so what do they look like?

My friend was recently in japan and he said he got spoon that were basically chinease spoons. 

Soup

Jason Truesdell

Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

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If you're talking about setting a table for a fairly traditional Japanese meal in a Japanese home, the short answer is "very rarely."

The major exception that I can think of would be curry rice.

On average, the cutlery one typically finds in a Japanese home tends to be smaller, perhaps a concession to small Japanese hands. Especially the dessert spoons (and forks), which can be quite a bit smaller than a Western teaspoon. Actually, they are often downright tiny.

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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Western-style spoons are used for western foods and occasionally are offered in restaurants, and presented with coffee or cakes.

This made me remember one of the most bizarre things I've ever seen.

At the aquarium in Osaka - in the gift shop - they had an entire section dedicated to Western silverware - forks, knives and spoons.

"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

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I'd like to know what Korean and Chinese spoons are.

I took a picture of the forks and spoons I happen to have in my house.

gallery_16375_5_29363.jpg

I don't think that those used in other households vastly differ from those shown above.

The three leftmost ones are for children. To be more precise, the leftmost one is not a spoon but a renge, a spoon-like implement used to drink ramen soup.

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that is a lot of different spoons!

all I have are large spoons and small spoons of the same maker, I don't even have kids spoons any more...

EDIT and don't forget you will always get sppons in Italian restaurants or family restaurants when you order pasta (spaghetti).

Edited by torakris (log)

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  • 1 month later...

I think that those of you who live in Japan are familiar with I-Wrap. It's a plastic bag for cooking purposes.

I am a regular user of I-Wrap. When I make chicken karaage, I put equal amounts of flour and katakuriko (potato starch) in an I-Wrap bag, add chicken chunks, close the bag with one hand, and shake the bag with the other to ensure thorough coating.

gallery_16375_5_205038.jpg

I use an I-Wrap bag when making light cucumber pickles too.

gallery_16375_5_1237.jpg

Do you use I-Wrap on a regular basis?

Do you have products similar to I-Wrap in your country/area?

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