A trusty wok
No Asian kitchen can be considered complete without it; the wok is a versatile cooking vessel that lends itself to a variety of cooking methods thanks to its unique rounded shape. Besides the obvious stir fry, pan fry, and deep fry, you can also braise, stew and even smoke with a wok! A 14 inch carbon steel wok is the perfect size for a family of 4, just be sure to properly season it before you start working with it. That’s because a well-seasoned wok will ease your cooking with its non-stick surface and add a dimension of flavour to your food.
Mortar and Pestle
A good mortar and pestle is worth its (substantial) weight in gold. Allowing you to whip up freshly ground spices and ingredients at the drop of a hat, they are also a solid addition to kitchen décor. The best sets are usually made of polished marble or granite and carry the right balance of heft, grip and balance to make grinding easy.
Chef’s knife and paring knife
There is a vast selection of knives out there to choose from, some designed for general use and others for specialised tasks but when you boil it all down, there are two knives your kitchen absolutely needs to have. A chef’s knife is a medium sized blade and can be used for all your general chopping and slicing in the kitchen. A paring knife is the knife you reach for when you need a little finesse. Usually 3 inches long, paring knives are used for chopping, peeling and deseeding fruits and vegetables as well as other tasks too small for a chef’s knife. Do invest in good quality knives and be sure to keep them sharp.
A cutting board
To complement your knives, you are going to need a good cutting board. Although glass and marble can look nice, the materials you want to be considering for a cutting board are plastic, wood and bamboo. Plastic is cheap and easy to maintain, while both bamboo and wood have longer lifespans when properly taken care of. Additionally, wood and bamboo boards look great! Aim to buy a board slightly bigger than you need, as you can easily cut small items on a big board, but cutting large items on an undersized board is a challenge even for the best chefs.