For long-lasting use of precious containers. Let's know how to care for Japanese tableware


Holding Japanese tableware

You want to use your favorite bowl for a long time after purchasing it. With just a little care on a regular basis, you can keep it in the same clean condition as when you bought it for a long time, and the way it changes over time will be even more interesting.

This time, we will introduce the points you should be careful about when using Japanese tableware . Of course it's ok if you can't do everything perfectly. While cherishing your own style, enjoy taking care of it as much as you can.

What is Japanese tableware?

How to hold a teacup

Japanese tableware is a general term for containers used for Japanese cuisine, and mainly refers to bowls, plates, bowls, bowls, rice bowls, and chopsticks. What is different from western tableware is that the emphasis is placed on the feel and texture . This is related to the unique Japanese food culture of using chopsticks to lift the bowl by hand.

In addition, there are various types of vessels with different shapes and depths, and you can see a variety of colors that are unique to Japanese tableware. In contrast to Western tableware, which is made with a focus on cooking, Japanese tableware is made with an emphasis on the taste and flavor that can be felt from the tableware .

pottery and porcelain. It's the same pottery, but what's different?

Ceramics are the most commonly used Japanese tableware at home. Although it is the same pottery, there are many different parts such as materials and textures. In order to take care of it properly, let's first check the characteristics of each.


Kimano Pottery Vessel

It is made from naturally-obtained soil (mainly clay) and is called tsuchimono. You can feel the warmth of the soil, and it features a rustic and warm texture . It is often made thick, but it is more fragile than porcelain, so care must be taken when handling it.

Also, due to the nature of water absorption, you have to be careful about odors and mold. Although it is a familiar existence for us, it is actually a container that requires a little work.


Porcelain plate by Tomomi Akahori

The raw material is a rock called pottery stone, and it is called "Ishimono". It features a beautiful appearance with a sense of transparency and a smooth texture. The porcelain stone is crushed finely and fired at a high temperature, resulting in a thin and durable finish.

Contrary to ceramics, it has low water absorbency, so it is difficult for dirt and odors to penetrate . If you look only at usability, it can be said that it is easier to handle than pottery. However, it conducts heat easily, so you need to be careful when putting hot things in it.

pottery porcelain
material soil stone
touch rough Tsuru
Strength weak strong
water absorption high rare
Eye stop much needed a lot of unnecessary things
range × (some ○)
oven × ×
direct fire × ×
dishwasher ×

*The above are only general differences. Some parts are different depending on the author.

For your precious container. This is the only care manual I want you to do

In order to use your valuable utensils for a long time, we have summarized the points that you should be careful about. You may think that it is a little troublesome, but you may feel more attached to it as much as you put in the effort. Challenge yourself as much as you can.

Before using for the first time ~Blinding~

For pottery and clay pots with rough soil and high water absorbency , you can prevent stains and odors from staining them by sealing them before using them for the first time. Filling is the process of filling up the cracks and coarse grains of the soil with starchy substances such as rice and potato starch.

In most cases, it is not necessary for porcelain with finely baked clay. Some pottery has already been water-repellent treated by the artist.

<How to close the eyes>

  1. Soak the bowl in rice water or water with flour or potato starch dissolved in it.
  2. Bring to a boil over low to medium heat. (Be sure to put the container in room temperature water before heating.Putting the container in a boiling pot or heating it rapidly over high heat may cause damage.)
  3. After boiling for a while, turn off the heat. Wait until the pot cools down completely, take out the pot, wash it and dry it well. (I turn off the fire about 12 to 15 minutes after lighting it.)

before serving food

Soak it in water for about 5 minutes before serving food. As mentioned above, pottery has the property of being highly absorbent. By letting it absorb water before use, the color and odor of food will not easily stain, slowing down aging.

For those who say, "It's a little troublesome to soak it for 5 minutes..." , it's OK to just dip it in water . This alone will make a difference. Also, if you want to enjoy how the vessel changes, you can choose not to do anything. It may be a part that changes depending on what you like about the vessel.

<Thinking about microwave ovens>

In this modern age, whether or not it can be used in the microwave is an important point. Microwave use is OK for porcelain, semi-porcelain, and heat-resistant pottery. Opinions differ on ordinary pottery. If you use it in the microwave many times, it may cause damage without knowing it.

That said, I often use the microwave without worrying about pottery. Even if I get too nervous, I feel like I'm going to have less chances to use my favorite pottery... I think it's one of my styles to be determined to buy a new one if it breaks.

However, anything with a metallic glaze (such as silver) is absolutely NG. Do not use it as it may cause sparks.

How to wash and clean up after use

Choose the softest sponge possible and wash with dishwashing detergent. It is important to rinse well and dry thoroughly . Storing it in a cupboard with water in it can cause stains and mold.

When storing containers on top of each other, try to keep similar shapes together as much as possible. It is good if you can put only flat plates in a flat plate and similar pots in a pot with a deep bottom. Be careful not to stack different shapes on top of each other, as the load will be biased and lead to chipping and cracking.

<Things to avoid>

  • long soak wash
  • Using hard sponges or cleansers

Q&A to help you with maintenance problems

Q. I can't get rid of cooking odors.

A. Putting the container in a pot filled with water and boiling it may remove the odor.

Q. I have a stain. How can I get it?

A. It's possible that the water is just soaked in, so first try drying it well in the sun. If that doesn't work, try boiling. For tea stains and coffee stains, it is also effective to use a sponge soaked in about a tablespoon of salt and polish.

Q. I lost an important container...

A. Small chips can be smoothed out by rubbing with a cloth file. In the case of cracks and cracks, there is a method called "Kintsugi" that decorates and repairs with metal powder such as gold and silver. There are shops specializing in kintsugi, but there are also kintsugi sets that you can repair yourself (at bookstores, etc.), so it would be nice to try it.