When I used to vacation in Japan, I had fun getting creative with the kitchens or kitchenettes in my Airbnbs. The lack of equipment and space made for both excitement and last-minute trips to the hundred yen store: Could I cook pasta, a sauce and a side vegetable all on one hot plate? Could I produce a tasty stir-fry on a burner that inexplicably turned itself off every two minutes? When I moved here with my family, however, amusing inconveniences became closer to my reality. Unlike the four-burner stove and oven setup that I was used to in Canada, in the beginning, I had two occasionally temperamental gas burners, with a tiny fish grill underneath them.
Because I love cooking and I am feeding a family, we outgrew this setup almost immediately. While my pocketbook wept, we quickly added a rice cooker to the mix, alongside some other small appliances to make procuring three meals a day much more pleasant and convenient. Below is my list of five that are not leaving my kitchen anytime soon and that I heartily recommend to get you on track for more home cooking and all the health benefits it brings.
1. Hot Plate
The first item on this list is perhaps as well used as the stove in my house: the Bruno hot plate. The Bruno, with its sleek design, fashionable colors and multi-insert functionality, first wowed me years ago in a Tokyu Hands display on a trip to Japan. The base model and “grande” large model both come with a non-stick flat pan and a takoyaki (grilled octopus ball) pan for endless riffs on meals and snacks. Indeed, in one of its forms (including the grill pan which I bought separately!), the Bruno is …continue reading