I’m a Shopee addict and I’ve accumulated a ton of kitchen items, which I now call “essentials” that have made a vast difference in the way I cook or my kitchen’s setup.
On average, I cook five times a week, not only in a bid to save money, but also because I thoroughly enjoy it. During the Movement Control Order (MCO) period especially, the kitchen has become a therapeutic space where I can spend hours cooking all types of recipes.
With that, it has also escalated my Shopee habits and I have no regrets – I’ve discovered some kitchen knick knacks that I think every home cook should invest in. Here are my top five.
1. Slow Cooker
I’ve had my slow cooker for a few years now. I invested in one so that my dinner meals were ready by the time I got home from work (back in the pre-covid days). I’ve made beef stews, pork soup, rendang, curry and more with this. A slow cooker, also known as a crock pot, is a cooking pot that cooks food slowly (as the name implies) – there are many variations where some are made from ceramic, metal or porcelain.
The result of it is similar, if not the same, as what you would get if you used a pressure cooker. The only difference is that it works slowly and with a relatively low temperature to stew your meat. Of course, you could simmer your meat on the stovetop but this would require stirring interval, whereas you could leave your slow cooker unattended as it operates. The slow cooker is an electrical unit, so it’s a plug and play situation. The best part is that you can even use cheaper meat or cuts that ‘ll still turn into the melt-in-your-mouth texture.
2. Knife Sharpener
I’ve been cutting with blunt knives for years now. Not because I enjoy it, but because I absolutely hate the sound or feel that you get when you sharpen a knife – thinking about it as I write this is giving me goosebumps. Also, I honestly do not know how to use a knife sharpening block.
But I’ve decided to be brave and found that there are so many easy-to-use knife sharpeners on Shopee! I’m telling you, sharpening your knives makes a world of a difference – I don’t know how I went for years with blunt knives. Sharpened knives slices through my meats and vegetables like a dream! There are many inexpensive versions of knife sharpeners as well. The one I bought has an easy handle and three “slits” where I can sharpen knives of different thickness.
I might be late on the bandwagon but I’ve always avoided buying a chopper, simply because I thought cutting onions or garlic was not a big deal. Yes, it is time consuming to get your garlic into itty bitty pieces.
But until the recent MCO 3.0, I grew tired of chopping garlic manually into small pieces almost everyday. So, I thought it was time to buy a chopper. I found that there are two main types – one that you pull manually, and another that is battery operated which is charged with a USB port. I bought the manual version because I thought what if I forget to charge it and then I have to result to the traditional method?
The manual one works just fine. You pull the handle – which is attacked to a string – and as you pull on it, the blade will rotate to shred your condiments. It’s so quick and easy to clean as well. I’ve also used this to chop cabbage into small pieces for my coleslaw recipe.
4. Bread Maker
During MCO 1.0 in 2020, bread was hard to come by – grocery stores would always be out of stock when it comes to our favourite bread loaf and I thought, why not make my own? So, after a few days of browsing, I bought one and I absolutely love it. It is more or a pricier find but think of it a an investment – you can have fresh bread all the time!
All you have to do is put all your ingredients into the bucket, choose the right setting and it’ll do everything for you – including baking the bread! What I really love about is is that there are many functions. You can make cakes, jams and even stir-fry items. I particularly love using the “dough” and “knead” function. I use the dough function to make my own cakoi or yoo tiaw (fried dough sticks) as it will mix and knead the dough, as well as give it time to proof. IT will beep once it’s ready. I also used the knead function to make roti canai (flat bread) dough.
5. Steam Mop
This is not exclusively for the kitchen but with the many splatters and spills on my kitchen floor tiles – this is an essential. I’ve never thought about a steam mop but after getting frustrated with dried stains and the regular twist or spray mop, I decided to invest in this.
There is a water tank attached to the mop, and the mop will heat it up and it’ll spray steam out of the pads attached to the mop. Yes, it is electric-operated. With this, it will heat up any tough stains to “melt” it and when you go over it with the pad, it will easily come off. The hot steam also helps with killing germs and bacteria!
Here are some additional favourites
When you’re a Shopee addict, you’ll stumble upon a bunch of things you never knew you needed. So, these are some of my other favourite finds I thought I’d throw in.
- Hotpot or Steamboat Pot: I love hotpot (FYI, you can read all about Sichuan hotpot here), and during the lockdown, I craved it so much. Luckily, I bought a hotpot or steamboat pot previously which allows for two different soups. It’s perfect to satisfy my cravings.
- Microwave Organiser: Organising my kitchen has been a priority as that’s where I spend most of my time anyway. I stumbled upon a shelf that lets me put my microwave and oven together, while having space for other items on top as well. It comes with hanging hooks too – great for kitchen utensils, such as oven mitt or a spatula.
- Electric Grill: I’m also obsessed with all things barbeque and this one of my best food “investment”. It works so well to grill meat, but I always put foil on it because I’m too lazy to clean in between the grill lines. This one also has a cover which you can put down to avoid any oil splatters on the table, or on you.
Now that I’ve shared my favourites – tell me, what are yours? Remember, you don’t have to shop on Shopee, there are other great platforms too such as Lazada. But me? I’m a Shopee stan forever.