I hate having unnecessary appliances and fancy tools in a kitchen, but there are some utensils I simply cannot do without.
There is the the food processor with which I make my sambal belacan and other spice pastes.
Then a small strainer which I use when making tea, and also when I squeeze lemons and limes. It catches all the seeds, saving me the effort of picking them out later.
And instead of a garlic press, a tool that came and went in a jiffy, I use a knife to bash a clove of garlic on a board, making it easy to remove the skin and to chop it afterwards.
Similarly, you do not need more than a teaspoon to peel a piece of ginger. You use the spoon to scrape off the skin following the contours of the root and it comes off easily, proving yet again that the simplest tools are the best.
Just like ice trays.
In my kitchen, they not only make ice cubes, but are also used to freeze leftover wine and stock, so that I can easily pop a cube into the pot.
Finally, I could not do without a porcelain Chinese spoon.
For that is how I check the seasoning of my minced meat mixtures.
I place a dollop on a Chinese spoon and microwave it for 30 seconds.
I then taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed.
It does the job neatly.
This article was first published on November 10, 2015.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.