Thai cooking equipment guide

Most people are familiar with woks, which are used in virtually all Asian cooking. In Thailand, we use some equipment, like a sticky rice steamer and basket, that are not used much in other Asian countries. A kloke, or mortar and pestle, is another tool that's used a lot in Thai cooking, both to make Som Tum and to pound ingredients used in dipping sauces and curry pastes. Most of the tools shown here are available at Asian markets, and most can be ordered from websites as well.

The Thai stone mortar and pestle (on the right) is made from carved granite. It's used to pound curry pastes and other dried spice ingredients such as coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, and dried peppers. The mortar on the left is made from clay and the pestle at the bottom is made from wood. This kind of mortar and pestle is commonly used for pounding green papaya salad (Som Tum), fresh peppers, fresh garlic, and more.



The clay pot on the left is used in the oven to cook dishes such as Seafood with Silver Bean Thread Noodle (Woon Sen Ob Talay in Thai), Dungeness Crab with Thai herbs (Poo Ob Mor-din) and Pineapple Fried Rice with Shrimp in Clay Pot (Kao Ob Saparote in Thai). The clay pot on the right is used for soups like Tom Yum. Charcoal can be put in the bottom to keep the soup warm during the meal. Clay pots are available at most Asian markets .



This type of charcoal grill has been used in Thailand for a long, long time! Hot coals are placed in the bottom of the grill and a wok sits on the top. The grill is essentially a metal pail with concrete inside formed into a space that holds charcoal (which is added through a hole cut into the side. A ceramic piece holds the wok above the coals.





This Thai cooks knife is easy to handle with a wood handle and slim stainless steel blade. Its reasonably priced for both the amateur and professional chef. Stainless steel blade, hardened and tempered. Wood handle.



Coconut Grater (gkra-dtai in Thai) to prepare fresh coconut milk or shredded coconut meat for Asian and Thai recipes.





Indoor Portable Fish Grill use this non-electric fish-shaped aluminum serving platter for a fantastic presentation at your next Asian dinner party. This type of serving platter is often used in Thailand's famous seafood restaurants with hot charcoals or tea lights inside the lower chamber to keep the food steaming hot at tableside. But if the idea of serving a whole fish makes you squemish, you may also serve fillets of salmon, catfish, or tilapia in this handsome heated platter.


This is a bamboo steamer tray that's mostly used to warm foods like dumplings, chicken or pork meat, and vegetables. Bamboo steamers come in a variety of sizes and are available at most Asian markets and some supermarkets and department stores.




This sticky rice steamer kit is perfect for steaming sticky rice. The basket is made from woven bamboo, which keeps the sticky rice from getting too wet during steaming. The steaming pot is made from aluminum and this pot is about 8" wide at the top and about 10" tall. Water is placed in the bottom of the pan and it's brought to a boil. Sticky rice, which has been soaked overnight (or for at least 3 hours), is placed in the basket. The rice should steam for approximately 15-20 minutes or until it turns translucent. Any round pot cover can be placed in the basket in order to keep most of the steam from escaping.


In Thai cooking, a good wok is very important! A non-stick wok or frying pan is best for stir-frying noodle dishes like pad thai or fried rice. Stainless steel or cast iron woks are best to use for stir-frying vegetables or meat.




Wok Shovel (turner, charn, spatula or daliew in Thai) is used for stir frying in a wok. The shovel helps to turn the food to cook it evenly, The rounded shape of the end of the turner is ideal for the curved surface of the wok.




This Brass Skimmer is used to steam noodles, vegetables and/or meat in boiling water to prepare Thai and Asian noodle dishes.





Use this Bamboo Handled Wire Mesh Strainer (or Skimmer) when deep fat frying wontons, egg rolls, and appetizers. Also great for boiling pasta, dumplings, noodles, vegetables or meat for soups.





This Thai hot pot with lid is made from aluminum. We use it to serve soup like Tom Yum, Hot and Sour Soup (Gang Som Pae Za in Thai) and Chicken and Coconut Soup (Tom Kha Gai in Thai). Charcoal is placed in the bottom of the pot (sterno cans are used in the US), which keeps the soup warm during a meal (in Thailand a meal can last several hours!). Thai hot pots are sold at most Asian markets or order online .


Sticky Rice Serving Basket is serve each guest an individual serving of sticky rice in their own beautiful bamboo basket (grateep in Thai). This type of bamboo serving basket is necessary equipment for enjoying traditional North-East Thai food.



Rice Serving Bowl will transport your dinner guests to exotic South East Asia. Use this server with ladle, for serving steamed jasmine rice.





This three tray aluminum steamer comes in a variety of sizes. It's used for steaming fish, vegetables, tapioca dumplings, and chicken. Water is placed in the bottom tray and it's brought to a boil. Oil should be rubbed on the trays before using to keep the food from sticking. A big sheet of banana leaves is often used with this type of the steamer to wrap up food prior to cooking.




This electric rice cooker is the most convenient way to cook rice and you'll find one in most homes in Asia. The rice cooks in just 5-10 minutes and after it's cooked you can leave it in the rice cooker to warm until it's ready to serve. Rice cookers come in different sizes, depending upon how much rice you eat and how many people you're cooking for. Common sizes are 3, 5, 8, and 10 cups. Rice cookers are available at most Asian markets and many department stores.

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