On this page you will find all of my favorite kitchen tools, tea products, cooking ingredients, beauty essentials, and more. This list is a mix of fun, durable, and useful items that have enhanced certain aspects of my life. I own and use all of them on a regular basis.
Having a blender is another essential kitchen appliance in my home. I make a lot of smoothies, sauces, and soups, so I need something that isn’t too time consuming to clean. I like this Kitchenaid blender because it’s affordable, sleek, and simple to clean and use.
This food scale is one of the most used items in my kitchen. I use it every time I create or follow a recipe, which is almost daily! I love the Ozeri scale because it’s affordable, small, and light. It’s also easy to convert from ounces to grams, milliliters and pounds.
I used to cook rice on the stove so I know what it’s like to hope for a good pot of rice. With a rice cooker though, you simply cannot fail at making rice. The machine does all the thinking and cooking for you and what you end up with is perfectly cooked rice every single time. This rice cooker can cook white, brown, and multigrain rice. And it also has a slow cooker function that I use all the time to make soups and stews.
Being able to blend soups and sauces straight from the pot they were cooked in cuts downs on cleaning time. When it comes to handling hot liquids, I prefer to do the blending in a pot rather than in a blender to avoid dangerous splatters. And the fact that this hand blender is cordless makes it even safer to use.
When it comes to stir frying, this is the pan I have been using for years. I do have a wok as well but I personally prefer using this one because it’s lighter and has a hard coating that keeps my food from sticking to the bottom.
Pickles are a staple in Japanese cuisine. They dress up a meal with their bright colors and are served as a side dish or a garnish to many traditional Japanese dishes. Though I often buy premade pickles at the Japanese supermarket, I also love to make my own because it gives me full control on how I want them to taste.
100% of my salad dressings are made from scratch, which means I use this salad dressing mixer about as often as I use my food scale. It’s great for shaking because of its firm grip and the spout lets just enough dressing out to drizzle on top of greens.
This is an item I cannot live without because rice is a staple in our home. And rice should always be rinsed before it gets used to get rid of the extra starch. What makes this strainer different are the size of the holes which are small enough to hold the grains so they don’t slip through when I wash and drain my rice.
I love adding sesame seeds to my dishes. They add a nutty flavor that is traditional to Japanese cuisine. Using a grinder requires zero work (compared to a pestle and mortar) and what you end up with are perfectly crushed sesame seeds.
Japanese graters are most often made to grate vegetables like daikon radish, wasabi, garlic, onion, and nagaimo (Chinese yam). The texture is different from a regular grater - instead of thick sticks, the vegetable is grated into a fine texture, almost like a fluffy cloud. It can be used for other vegetables too such as a carrot, if you are making a carrot ginger dressing.
I like Japanese mandolins because they are smaller and easier to use, especially if your hands are on the smaller side like mine. This mandolin comes with four different blades for varying thicknesses ranging from small to medium.
I used to dread making onigiri because I’ve always been terrible at shaping rice balls. Then I bought this onigiri mold and my life changed! All I have to do is put some cooked rice into the mold, add a little filling in the center, and cover it with the other mold to shape into a perfect triangle. Done!
I pretty much only drink out of this cup. I carry it everywhere with me as a reminder to drink more water. And it works since I do end up drinking more water. If it’s not sitting next to my laptop while I’m working, it’s coming with me to the gym or on a hike.
I probably drink more mugicha than water on a daily basis. I love the mild and nutty taste of this Japanese barley that’s also 100% caffeine-free. It’s refreshing and the golden color of the tea reminds me of lazy summer days spent at my grandparents house in Japan. Mugicha is also good for digestion, prevents tooth decay, and can protect against cancer and other diseases because of its high antioxidant properties.
I love this Japanese teapot because it’s small and made to only serve one. Also, the teapot comes with a filter located at the beginning of the spout, inside, which means I don’t have to use anything else to brew my tea.
This is a traditional matcha scoop used to measure the right amount of matcha powder per individual serving. I drink matcha everyday and using this scoop ensures that my tea isn’t too weak or too strong.
I have a cup of matcha everyday for my health but also because I’m addicted to the taste. I like it both iced and hot but the matcha powder must be mild and easy to drink. I love Matcha Bloom’s Purity Powder because it’s made with gyokuro green tea leaves, which go through a double-shading process to absorb more nutrients and amino acids than the classic tencha leaves used in most matcha powders.
Mixing matcha powder without a bamboo whisk results in a cup of tea that is full of matcha powder clumps. By whisking the powder with a little water first, you get a nice froth and a smooth cup of tea.
Serious tea drinkers need a water heater. I refill mine daily because I use it so much. The water temperature can be set to very hot (for instant noodles) or hot enough for beverages. It’s also great for new mothers who constantly need to warm up bottles.
If you like to elevate your tea time and drink a lot of matcha, then you may want to consider investing in a matcha bowl. The bowls are larger and more shallow than a regular mug in order to make the whisking process easier. Plus, they are so beautiful to look at and feel premium when holding one in your hands.
I love collecting tea cups since it makes me look forward to my afternoon tea. I have tea cups of all shapes and sizes that occupy two full cupboards. Kutani ware is a traditional Japanese pottery I particularly love - it’s thick and heavy so it feels nice and sturdy. And the fact that it has kitties on them makes it even better!
I always have regular dashi and kombu dashi powder in my pantry. This kombu dashi is vegetarian and has a lovely mineral taste that’s almost refreshing. Sometimes I like to mix both dashi to get a more complex broth, which is something many Japanese chefs like to do.
Frying chopped dried chili peppers with garlic is one of my favorite combinations. You get the nutty and sweet taste of garlic mixed with the smokiness and heat of chili peppers. This flavor combo is wonderful in stir fries and classic Chinese dishes like mapo tofu.
The only type of rice that should be used when making Japanese food is short grain rice. Most brands you find in Asian and regular supermarkets (Kokuho Rose, Nishiki, Botan) are medium grain rice, which yields a texture that’s tougher and less sticky. Less than ideal for making onigiri or sushi rolls. Tamanishiki is a super premium short grain rice that’s both affordable and extremely delicious. It’s the only brand I use.
I’ve been using these stock cubes ever since I lived in Tokyo, over 20 years ago. They taste like chicken stock with some vegetables - and are kind of essential if you are making Japanese soups and stews. Perhaps it’s because they contain msg that they are so good - but I’m not interested in figuring out the secret. I only want to keep slurping that delicious broth!
I keep a box of premade Japanese curry roux in my pantry as a quick way to flavor noodle soups like ramen and udon. I also make a lot of curry so it’s imperative that I always keep at least one box nearby for when the curry craving hits - which is weekly.