Milk Street Nakiri
What if we told you there is a Japanese knife specifically designed for vegetable prep that will make your cooking safer, easier and faster? It is vastly better than the all-purpose European chef’s knife, which is clunky, heavy and too thick to precisely slice and dice onions, cut carrots into perfect coins or reduce chard into feathery ribbons. The solution is the Milk Street Nakiri. It’s light, thin and sharp, with a design that resembles a mini cleaver—2 inches deep with a squared-off tip. A very thin blade, just 1.6 millimeters at the top, tapers down even thinner toward the end so it slices through even tough ingredients effortlessly without bending. The broad blade shields your fingers when you chop and works as a bench scraper to transfer chopped veggies to the simmering pot. With the help of veteran industrial designer David Lewin, we added a few special touches. The blade is embossed with a nonstick file pattern that replicates the kourochi (blacksmith) or tshuchime (pear skin) finish to traditional nakiris, so sliced ingredients fall right off. A gentle curve accommodates fingers when choking up tight for control, and the handle has been designed to provide a nonslip grip.
Milk Street Limited Edition Premium Nakiri — Cocobolo Wood
What if we told you there is a Japanese knife specifically designed for vegetable prep that will make your cooking safer, easier and faster? It is vastly better than the all-purpose European chef’s knife, which is clunky, heavy and too thick to precisely slice and dice onions, cut carrots into perfect coins or reduce chard into feathery ribbons.
The solution is the Milk Street Nakiri. It’s light, thin and sharp, with a design that resembles a mini cleaver—2 inches deep with a squared-off tip. The very thin blade, just 1.5 millimeters at the top, tapers down even thinner toward the end so it slices through even tough ingredients effortlessly without sticking. The broad blade shields your fingers when you chop and works as a bench scraper to transfer chopped veggies to the simmering pot. The blade’s heel gently curves to accommodate your fingers when choking up tight for control.
This is a limited edition, premium run of our tried-and-true Milk Street Nakiri knife. It features a high-end Japanese AUS8 steel blade specially treated with a nonstick “Tsuchime” hammered surface—foods slide right off—and a gorgeously grained cocobolo wood handle. And it comes with a custom saya, or knife guard, to keep your blade keen and protect it in storage. Consider it an heirloom-quality tool to pass on to the next generation.
Milk Street Noodles Cookbook
Nearly every culture serves some sort of noodle, from fettuccine, ramen and spaetzle to lo mein, gnocchi and udon. So we traveled the world to learn the secrets to the best pad Thai, Italian ragù, spicy North African couscous and buttery Turkish noodles flecked with feta cheese. In Italy, we were taught the real fettuccine Alfredo—so much lighter, simpler and satisfying than what we knew. In Sapporo, Japan, we learned to develop the deep umami flavors of miso ramen with minimal time and effort. And from Ho Chi Minh to Lima, we learned the art of the quick noodle stir-fry, from Vietnamese shrimp noodles to Peruvian chicken and pasta. Noodles are a perfect canvas for spring and summer vegetables, as well as hearty wintertime baked casseroles. And if speed is the need, try hoisin-ginger noodles or our cheesy one-pan cacio e pepe, both ready in 20 minutes. What’s for dinner? Use your noodle.
Anything Co. Maekake Japanese Traditional Apron
Don’t be fooled by this apron’s stunning design—it’s actually been used as a functional piece of workwear for centuries in Japan. They’re produced in Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture (the last remaining area of production in Japan) and made from durable cotton that’ll stand up to frequent use. These aprons from Anything Co. are made on century-old Toyota shuttle looms (yes, the car company, which originally started out as a loom manufacturer). They’re colored with a rich indigo using resist-dyeing techniques, which allows the original white shade of the fabric to come through in the design and not bleed or fade over time. We love how the color fades a bit with use—typically, this is a sign in Japan of well-worn beauty. The thick belts are also colored with white and red, both considered lucky colors, and are sturdy enough to offer lower back support when tied in a traditional fashion.
Suehiro Double Brewed Soy Sauce
Since 1879, Suehiro has used the same traditional methods to make their small-batch soy sauces in Japan’s Tatsuno City, Hyogo Prefecture. We were especially wowed by their Double-Brewed Soy Sauce, or Saishikomi, which is deeply layered in comparison to any run-of-the-mill grocery version. Unlike most on the market, this soy is brewed not once but twice, first delicately with soybeans, wheat, salt, water and koji. Then, the mixture is brewed again, this time without salt or water, yielding an earthy, rich and viscous soy sauce that stands apart. It’s salty, but less so than other brands, with funky, coffee-like notes that round out into a dark, almost burnt caramelly sweetness. Use it anywhere you would soy sauce, but we love it most served simply with dishes that have few ingredients, like hand rolls and sashimi.
Maruhon Lightly Toasted Sesame Oil
Sesame oil is an essential ingredient in East Asian cuisine for adding aromatic depth, but too often it can be cloying and overpowering. We tasted numerous versions and especially like Maruhon Lightly Toasted Sesame Oil made by Takemoto Oil & Fat Company, the oldest operating oil-extracting company in Japan, which traces its roots to 1725. Maruhon Lightly Toasted Sesame Oil has a far more delicate, nuanced flavor than supermarket versions and tastes distinctly of sesame, unlike the generic nuttiness of some mass-produced versions. This producer uses a chemical-free extraction process, which is not only healthier but also yields a cleaner taste that doesn’t overpower light dishes but stands up to heavier ones. The oil adds just the right amount of nutty richness and is much more aromatic than others we've tried.
Hanamaruki Foods Liquid Shio Koji
A traditional condiment made from fermented malted rice, shio koji is known in Japan for packing a punch of umami into everything from marinated meats to savory soups. All shio kojis aren’t created equal, though, for Hanamaruki Foods distills the powerful flavor properties of this essential Japanese ingredient into an easy-to-use liquid form—the only Liquid Shio Koji available on the market—to create the ultimate pantry secret weapon. We love the condiment’s clean, yet bold flavor: salty rounded out with a pronounced sweetness and burst of umami. It’s made by pressing shio koji in its original paste form and filtering until it yields the clear, golden-hued liquid. The product isn’t heat-treated, so its enzymes remain active and effective in rendering meat remarkably moist and juicy, balancing bitterness in veggies like eggplant and adding amino acids for a full-flavored finish to any dish to truly change the way you cook. Use as a marinade for meats and fish, drizzle into salad dressings and sauces to balance savory flavors, or incorporate into baked goods to add a layer of tantalizing complexity.