A mortar and pestle set is a common tool used in Vietnamese kitchen to grind and mix spices. A mortar and pestle set is actually the oldest, original food processor. The pestle is a heavy small bat, usually made from porcelain, stone or wood, whose rounded end is used for pounding and grinding. The mortar is a bowl, which can be made from porcelain, wood, carved stone or other materials. The substance is ground between the pestle and the mortar by rubbing or pounding the substance with the pestle against the wall of the mortar, thus turning it into a fine powder. From spices to fruits and vegetables, you can bypass the electrical method and use a mortar and pestle to get your food into a paste or powder.
Today a mortar and pestle might not be as common as it once was, but there can be little doubt that the mortar and pestle most definitely still have a place in any home due to following reasons:
1. Fresh taste: Spices have a tendency to naturally lose some of their taste when they have been processed. Yet, when you ground them freshly yourself, this is simply not an issue. If you like the way your food tastes then you are more likely to cook more nutritious food on a regular basis.
2. Improve your recipes: Just the smell of herbs and spices when you pound fresh in a stone mortal will increase the flavor of your food. If you have never experienced the taste sensation of fresh herbs and spices, then definitely give it a try.
Below are some mortal and pestle sets you might want to get for your kitchen:
How do I use it?
1. Use a small amount at a time, and put it into the mortal (bowl).
2. Press down on the food with the pestle to break it into smaller pieces
3. Use a circular motion, slowly elongating and contracting, to grind the food at the bottom of the bowl.
4. Continue press down and pound, so that little by little, all the pieces are grinded into a paste or powder.
5. Laddle the crushed food into another bowl and clean the pestle and mortal well to prevent leaving its taste in the bowl when you process next.
Cooking should be fun. Having a mortar and pestle available in the kitchen will allow you to experience cooking from a somewhat different perspective. If you have never experienced the fresh taste of herbs and spices before, then you are in for a real treat.
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