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Published: Sunday, February 10, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Porcelain spoons great for more than egg-drop soup

  • Chinese spoons hold spices, from 12 o'clock, moving clockwise, nutmeg, pepper corns, chili flakes, cocoa powder, curry powder, chili powder,  and alls...

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Chinese spoons hold spices, from 12 o'clock, moving clockwise, nutmeg, pepper corns, chili flakes, cocoa powder, curry powder, chili powder, and allspice. Chinese spoons are useful for much more than slurping soup.

  • Chinese spoons

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Chinese spoons

  • Chinese spoons have many uses in the kitchen.

    Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

    Chinese spoons have many uses in the kitchen.

My sister has eight Chinese soup spoons, which I have always coveted.
There is something pleasing about the size and shape, the heft, of these sturdy porcelain spoons that come with soup in Chinese restaurants.
For Christmas this year, I received my own set of eight. I want to use them all the time, but as cool as they are, they have limited functionality on the dining table.
I was searching my kitchen cupboards for a suitable cupcake-batter ladling device, however, and spotted the Chinese spoons. "Ha!" I thought.
And I was right. They are just the right size to spoon batter into paper muffin cups and not all over the tin.
Now, a version of the spoon stars on the new TV food show "The Taste," with Nigella Lawson and Anthony Bourdain (8 p.m. Tuesdays on ABC). Contestants have to create a meal, then serve the judges one spectacular bite of it on each spoon.
The nifty spoons cost about $1 each at Asian markets and some grocery stores. They are a great kitchen toy for an $8 investment.
Here are some other uses for the spoons.
Batter up: Great size and nimbleness for ladling cupcake batter into cups.
Avoid the double-dip: On a buffet for individual servings of dips and spreads, like salsa, guacamole and hummus.
Mise en place: That's French for "everything in place," and refers to prepping and setting out all the ingredients in a recipe before starting to cook or bake.
Soup's on: Good for all kinds of soup, whether thick or brothy, but especially for pho and egg drop soup.
"Measuring" spoon: Test your spoons -- mine hold about 1 tablespoon of liquid and about 2 tablespoons of heaped food, like chopped nuts, dried cranberries or diced peppers.
On the side: Offer individual servings of dressing, dippers or sauce for dieters.
Service station: Use one with each topping when serving curry (peanuts, coconut, chutney) or build-your-own tacos (onions, queso, chopped tomato).
Tea time: Retire your used tea bag when you remove it from the cup. Also good for a juiced lemon wedge after the salmon is seasoned.

Story tags » FoodCookingHousehold Products

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