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Tortoise Staff Picks: Our Favorite Tools in the Kitchen!

WRF Espresso Mugs:

It's hard to find an espresso cup more charming than these small mugs by local ceramic studio, WRF (West, River, Field).  Handmade in Orange County by Japanese ceramicist Nobuhito Nishigawara (in English his name translates into 'West, River, Field'), these pieces are all wheel-thrown for a wonderfully organic feel in the hand.

Online: Set of 4 WRF Espresso Mugs

Kamado Donabe Rice Cooker:

While electric rice cookers are convenient, we can't stress enough the joy and pure ease of cooking rice in a ceramic donabe rice cooker.  It takes approximately 13 minutes to cook the rice (some of us don't even use a timer - we just wait until the steam starts to poof!), 20 minutes to rest the rice, which is essential so the cooked rice can stabilize.  Then enjoy the delicious rice - either plain or mixed - taking a rice recipe from our favorite cookbook by Tortoise friend Naoko Moore - Donabe: Classic and Modern Japanese Clay Pot Cooking.  The image above shows today's lunch: 'scallop and lotus root rice with scallions'.  Yum!

Shown: Kamado Donabe Rice Cooker (3 cup), Donabe: Classic and Modern Japanese Clay Pot Cooking

Toribe Kitchen Scissors

We love a multi-purpose tool, which is why many of us at Tortoise consider these toribe kitchen scissors essential in the kitchen.  Whether it's snipping up greens for a salad (lettuce, scallions, herbs), cutting off the ends of these bendy thin asparagus, cutting the bone off a piece of salmon filet, or cutting your kids a slice of pizza, there is something unbelievably convenient about NOT using a knife or messing with a cutting board.  Toribe kitchen scissors come apart, so when they do get dirty, snap them apart and throw them in the dishwasher.  Easy and extra functional: it's a winning combination!

Shown: Toribe Kitchen Scissors


Stainless Steel Yanagi Pots, Strainers and Bowls

People who use Sori Yanagi tools in their kitchen are usually life long converts.  Once you bring a Sori Yanagi pot, kettle, can opener (sadly discontinued), kitchen knife into your home, it's hard to use anything else.  Take Sori Yanagi's line of punched-in strainers, for example .  Not only are they durable, but they're designed to fit into Sori Yanagi's cooking pots - which means, they'll convert your pots into steaming vessels!  The rim of his pots also have 2 pinched ends making it ideal for pouring out liquids and letting out steam.  Just turn the lid slightly, allowing a gap to appear that lets out the steam.  No more tilting lids awkwardly on the side hoping they don't fall!

Shown: Milk Pan, Strainer (Small)

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