Great kitchen goods only in Japan

Good morning everyone,

The sunny weather will continue through today and then we can expect clouds and rain tomorrow and Saturday and partially sunny skies on Sunday with highs in the low 30s through the weekend.

Japan is an endless well of creativity when it comes to tiny gadgets that improve your efficiency while still having fun. The simple little things on this list will make your work in the kitchen easier, the cleaning process less messy, and the cooking a tad more fun! The next time you’re out window shopping, make sure to check these goodies — you’ll thank us later!


1. Miso muddler for your soup and stew


This is the must-have gadget for anyone who’s not perfectly confident in making a good miso soup (we on the Savvy team are certainly guilty of that). If you never know how much is too much or too little, or if your paste doesn’t dissolve quite well enough, this easy-to-use muddler is your game changer. Use one of its ends (the large one for heftier portions and the small one for smaller), dip it into your miso paste and stir until the paste is completely dissolved. Another reason why this tool is so cool is that you can also use it for stews, curry, and pretty much everything else that has paste involved in the process. Buy at any kitchen utility stores, home centers, or online for around ¥1,500.


2. Shellista’s sanitization deodorant powder


One for the extra cautious people in the kitchen, this 100-percent natural powder contains calcium made of scallop shells from Hokkaido and is extremely strong in alkaline, yet certified as a food additive. Bingo! In other words, this product is great for sanitizing pretty much everything (including baby bottles), but most of all food, including veggies, meat and fish. It removes bacteria, viruses, nasty smells and pesticides from your food.

Place your veggies in a bowl of water, sprinkle the powder a few times and in around 10 minutes you’ll see all the nastiness surface — there’s a lot, even if you thought you’d washed them well already! Mind-blowing! Buy online for ¥1,280.


3. ‘Mom’s Wrap hands’


Don’t you just hate it when you bake the perfect cake or make a cute sandwich for your kids but the wrap gets stuck on the surface ruining the whole food presentation? This genius invention is all about that: hold the wrap so that your food stays visually perfect while being warmed up in the microwave or cooled down in the fridge. Simply attach these cute hands to your dish and apply the wrap on them. Buy at Loft, Tokyu Hands or online for ¥540.


4. The perfect rush-hour breakfast frying pan


No time to do the sunny side ups, fry the bacon and stir-fry the veggies? But your little ones are still holding your pants from behind saying they can’t wait any longer (it’s only been two minutes since you promised brekkie)… Well, try this three-in-one frying pan. It does it all at once, so all you’ll have to do is pour the milk and make the toast. Buy at any kitchen goods stores or online. ¥3,500 (retail price).


5. Cleancrew microwave and stove wipes


If you can remember the last time you cleaned your microwave, you’re in a safe place. But for those of you who tend to forget this sacred daily-used-and-abused device, buy those wipes in bulks and store them at home. Packed with key sanitizing active ingredients like sodium sesquicarbonate and persimmon tannin, these goodies will leave your microwave (and fridge, too) clean, pleasantly scented and sterilized in an instant. Buy at every home goods store, drugstores across Japan or online. ¥108 a pack.  


6. Taiyaki press


Bring the staple food of Japan’s downtown culture to your home with this cute and easy-to-use device. Get the taiyaki mix ready (it’s more or less the same as this for pancakes) and pour it into the device, close it and wait for a few minutes until the fish is ready. Tip: don’t limit yourself just to taiyaki. Get creative and make any fish-shaped sandwich your heart desires! Buy at Bic Camera, Don Quijote, any other electric appliances stores in Japan or online. Around ¥2,000.


7. The ultimate spoon measure


One for the confused cooks who can’t quite figure out what exactly “large spoon”, “quarter spoon” and the in-betweens according to the Japanese standards are. This simple but very useful gadget allows you to adjust your measurements exactly as stated in the recipes you’re using. Useful also to measure your pet food! Buy at Yodobashi Camera, other appliances stores and online. Around ¥1,200.


8. Shellista’s sanitization deodorant spray


Another product from Shellista, unlike the previously mentioned food powder, this one is a spray that allows you quite a bit of versatility in your home and kitchen cleaning. Use this one to spray on anything you want bacteria-free and completely sanitized: from kitchen utensils to your sink, cooking tools, and even pet bowls and mats. Containing only shell-calcined calcium and pure water from Hokkaido, this natural spray slowly releases its sterilization and deodorization effects, assuring that all bacterias and viruses are gone and forgotten. One that’s good to have around, especially during the hot-and-humid Japanese summer!


9. Makizushi cooking kit


Makizushi require a lot of strength to make them perfectly tight, but this cooking kit makes it all an easy peasy task. Made by Japanese traditional cooking ware maker Yamakoh, this cooking kit has three parts: a makizushi tray, makisu (the bamboo mat for pressing the sushi), and a pressing plate. Place the mat into the tray, add nori, rice and the ingredients, then press your creation using the wooden plate. Take the mat out and roll ‘til perfection! Only ¥1,512.  


10. Pipe and drain cleaner tablets


OK, this is the least exciting product on this list, but one that all of us need desperately when that smell starts creeping out of the drains. Drop one of these magic tablets directly into your sink drain at least once a month — they will remove the unpleasant stinkiness and slime and restore your peace. Buy at any house appliances store across Japan or drugstores. Around ¥300-¥400 for a pack of 20 tablets.

How many of these do you already have in your home? How many are tempting for you to check out?

Have a great day!


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