5 Appliances to Level Up Your Japanese Apartment Kitchen

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

© Photo by iStock: yamasan

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