cooking equipment
You may decide for yourself, which cooking and serving equipment you wish to have and what substitutions you wish to make. To illustrate that it is not essential to buy a great deal of new equipment. We have included some standard items, which you probably already have in your kitchen and which are readily available in our grocery store if you don't.
        Blender: A blender is used for grinding ingredients and preparing curries.
        Carving set: Helpful in simple flower-carving such as carrots, radish and cucumber.
        Knives: One or more sharp, heavy knives are essential for any kitchen, especially a Thai kitchen where so much depends on proper slicing and chopping. There should be at least one large, very sharp knife for slicing and chopping and a small, very sharp one for peeling and boning. We suggest knives with smooth blades rather than those with serrated or scalloped blades because smooth-bladed ones are much easier to keep sharp.
        Microwave Oven: A microwave oven is useful, but not essential; we use one to precook some items . It is also useful for reheating cooked rice and leftovers but represents a sizeable investment if used solely for that purpose.
        Pestle and mortar: Used during the preparation of the majority of savory dishes. A small food processor or a coffee grinder kept specifically for the purpose will take away the effort but will not produce quite the same results. When used for fibrous ingredients such as galangal and lemon grass, the pestle and mortar crushes the fibers rather cuts them and so releases the flavoring juices and oils more successfully.
        Rice Cooker: Electric An automatic electric cooker is useful if you prepare large quantities of rice frequently
        Rice Cooker for sticky rice For the best results, sticky rice must be steamed in a container that holds the rice above a lagre quantity of boling water. Although a special piece of equipment has been developed for that purpose. any kind of steamer can be used. If the steamer you use has holes large enough to allow the rice grains to slip through, line it with a piece of damp cheesecloth. The traditional sticky rice cooker consists of an urn-shaped pot with a flared top. This is filled about one third full of water. Soaked rice is placed in a cone-shaped basket, which is inserted into the openign of the metal container, pointed end down, and a lid isput over that. The water is then brought to a boil and the rice is stemed in the basket.
        Spatula: A long handled spatula that is curved and shaped like a shovel for scooping and tossing food in the wok.
        Steamers Traditional Thai steaming equipment consists of round stackable, perforated metal pans that fit over a container in which water is placed. Three or four perforated pans can be placed on top of each other and the steam rises through all of them. As with other Thai cooking equippment, it is efficient and effective. Any type of stemer can be used that permits food to be placed far enough apart to allow steam to circulate feely, and in which enough water can be placed to generate sufficient steam to last through the cooking process. Bamboo steamers are also availble and work well, but they are difficult to keep clean.
        Strainer: The traditional strainer used for deep-frying has a long wooden handle and a slightly concave, loosely woven brass basket. It is effective but, should not be washed in a dishwasher. An effective and equally useful adaptation is a long-handled metal strainer with a round, almost flat, perforated metal scoop.
        Wire baskets Almost without exception, Thai kitchen have a set of bamboo-handled wire baskets so they can quickly and easily plunge noodles into boiling water for the requisite short cooking time, and then speedily lift them out; different baskets are used for different types of noodles.
        Wok: The wok is probably the most versatile and efficient cooking utensil in existence. It can be used to stir-fry, deep-fry, roast or steam. Woks come in a vairety of sizes and are usually mde of spun carbon steel, stainless steel, or aluminum. We recommend a spun carbon steel because it is a good heat conductor and can be seasoned to help prevent sticking.
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