Friday, 16 March 2012

Can't Live Without - Small Kitchen Appliances

Last November, I wrote a post about Sauces that I can't live without. I was going to do a series of posts about things I can't live without, but soon I have forgotten about it. This is what happens when you have a second child!

I'm applying to be one of Morphy Richards' Innovators 2012 through foodies100, and thought that this is a great opportunity for me to continue my Can't Live Without series, this time about small kitchen appliances.

rice cooker, Panasonic cooker
Rice Cooker

An appliance that guards every Chinese's kitchen. Although we don't eat rice every day, it is still a must as no way am I going to cook rice in a pot (it is a stressful business). We used to use a simple rice cooker where there is only one button back in Uni time. It served its purpose.

But then we received this smart rice cooker from my aunt as a wedding gift, and we couldn't go back anymore. Not only does it cook rice and keeps it warm, it also bakes cake, cooks porridge, congee (overcooked rice until it becomes soupy) and brown rice too.

If you do cook rice often, why not invest in a rice cooker? You can get them now in the UK too. For Chinese boiled white rice, add 1.5 to 2 cups of washed rice (for a family of 4) in the cooker, fill with water until the water level is 1cm above the rice level, then cover and press the button. When the button flips back, the rice will be done and the cooker will keep it warm for you until you switch the cooker off.

vacuum cooker, thermal cooker, slow cooker
Vacuum Cooker (or Thermal Cooker)

I have recently written about vacuum cooker with a pork rib soup as an example. It has saved us so much electricity from cooking soups, stews and congees it's definitely one thing we can't live without. At the moment a Chinese fatty pork stew is sitting in the pot, waiting for us to enjoy at dinner time!

Panasonic bread maker, bread maker
Bread Maker

We love fresh bread, and we especially love South-East Asian bread that we can't always get at where we live. But with a pre-schooler and a baby, baking bread is almost impossible for me. We've bought this bread maker (with a Hong Kong style sausage buns recipe in this post) last November and it has been a big helper to me. Without it, we wouldn't be able to satisfy our cravings for speciality breads!

kettle, Kenwood kettle

Do I have to say more? Without it, I won't be able to have my daily coffee and tea fixes. Without it, I'll have to boil water from the pot to cook my noodles and vegetables, etc. Maybe next time I'll consider boiling eggs in it.

What about you? What are your Can't Live Without small kitchen appliances?