The varying cuisines of Asia showcases utensils and cutleries that we will often see when dining in these restaurants.
BBQ meats are grilled at the table thus the cooking system is fitted into the table and attached to a gas outlet. Hot soups are served in a “Dol Sot” which means hot stone bowl that doubles up as the vessel for Korean mixed rice dish (bibimbap). Rice is served in aluminium bowls while side dishes (banchan) are usually placed in small shallow bowls.
It is durable enough to be placed in a cooking vessel and is particularly used for serving expensive double boiled soups.
Chinese myth has it that long ago floods washed out their source of food. One day the people saw a dog with bunches of long, yellow seeds hanging on its tail. Taking a chance, they planted it. Rice grew, hunger disappeared and rice now symbolises nourishment and prosperity.
Flexible enough for cooking as well as serving food directly in them and are essential in dimsum restaurants.
For larger amounts of sushi or sashimi, restaurants usually use boards or a large shallow bowl.
SAKE SET – A traditional drink made from fermented rice, it is not only consumed during meals but also offered to Gods to gain blessings. It is usually poured from ceramic flasks called ‘tokkuri’ into cups of the same design called ‘choko’.
BENTO SET – A single portion meal served in a compartmentalised container.
“DONBURI” – Japanese for bowl, it refers to a ‘rice bowl dish’ where vegetables, meat or other ingredients are cooked together and served over rice in the oversized bowl.
A ‘thali’ is the most commonly used serving platter by the Indian/ Nepali community. Essentially meaning a flat steel platter with multiple compartments, many consider it a meal made up of various dishes; hence eating from a banana leaf can be called a ‘thali’ as well.
As ‘thali’ dishes vary from regions, some may serve dishes in small bowls called ‘katori’ which are placed on a round tray.
At the back-of-house, the crew working on Asian gastronomic fare have their interpretation of tools to get things done.
A Northern-style wok is fitted with a single long handle for easy flipping and stir-frying. With two “ears” on each side, the Cantonese-style wok is commonly employed for items that do not require tossing around. High heat is synonymous in two cooking methods – ‘chao’ to mean stir frying ingredients quickly in hot oil and high heat and ‘bao’ to toss ingredients in large amounts of hot oil, sauces or broth at high heat.
The shallow bowl of a ladle reaches the curved bottom of a wok to easily scoop up items with gravy and a spatula is used to quickly stir and move food around the pan to ensure even cooking rate.
Made of bamboo bristles, a wok brush is used to clean residual food in the wok.
An oil skimmer is used to ladle out big batches of fried items at one go from the wok and to drain the oil out.
The cleaver is the most utilised cutting tool and skilled chefs are able to cut items very finely despite the large knife size.
A “mun mo” chopper
Bamboo mats are used to provide a firmer grip when rolling sushi. Those with thinner width is primarily used for thin sushi rolls while flatter bamboo sticks are for rolling thicker rolls.
The sashimi knife’s slim, long blade and a thin handle helps a chef slice fresh seafood delicately.
Teppanyaki grill scraper
Usuba knife for vegetables and cutting through firm items without cracking them.
Hangiri is used to toss sushi rice with dressing of rice vinegar, sugar, salt and left to cool.
Oshibako box to prepare consistent rectangles of sushi, typically types without an exterior casing.
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The list is based on general items used by Asian foodservice establishments. We acknowledge that you may have different requirements and if you are looking for something not on our list, drop us an enquiry at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try our best to provide suggestions. Additional images in Eatssentials from Flickr.com & Wikimedia Commons attributed to: Kristina • Tony Oxborrow • Leo Fung • Chun Kit To •Chris 73 • feorag