There’s a special circle in hell where people are forced to cook delicious food… but are given tools that don’t make sense for the task. Within that circle, there’s a big, beautiful range where people are trying to check pancakes with thick, plastic spatulas where it’s impossible to see what’s happening underneath; they’re trying to flip quesadillas with wooden spoons that are simply not wide enough, thus losing precious filling out of each side. They’re tossing roasted vegetables with metal tongs, squashing most of the carrots and zucchini in the process. Somebody’s tearing an omelet because they only have two forks to flip it. I’m kidding, of course—this scene doesn’t exist in hell. I’m actually talking about what’s going on in your kitchen!
Many of us are so busy in our daily lives that by the time we’re cooking dinner (or a hungover weekend brunch), we’re half zombie, reaching for whatever tools are closest to us. By circumstance (or just what we happen to have on hand), what we grab doesn’t fit the bill at all. Tossing salad with just a big spoon? Been there, done that. Breaking down a roast chicken with my Japanese chef’s knife? Well, let’s just say somebody else in my house did that recently, and now it’s time for a visit to the sharpener.
There are many lazy cooking substitutions that just go unchecked in kitchens all over the world. It can be unhinged. That said, when it comes to flipping or checking roasted, baked, or fried items, I’ve got just the right solution.
In my experience, there’s one single, magical tool that is perfect for handling nearly anything hot (and not too big). It’s a fish spatula, and I use it for many, many things. This stainless steel, commercial grade spatula has slats that run long-ways so you can see through it, and so steam can continue escaping while you’re using it. It’s super light, and its wood handle means it never gets too hot to handle. This is literally a perfect kitchen tool, and it effectively costs $10. If nothing else, my hope is that that sells this piece of uncomplicated kitchen gear all on its own.
Do I use it for fish? Sure, I could—but I’m here to explain why it does so much more. I recently made amazing latkes with it on a super hot griddle. I use it to check and flip roasted veggies, and it’s awesome with the more delicate stuff, like zucchini and tomatoes. It slays pancakes (read: flips them gently and allows me to see the bottom without lifting it 2 feet above my head). I used it recently when frying pickles (yes, this happened). Oh, and—like it says on the metaphorical tin—it’s amazing for fish, which is, naturally, its intended purpose. I haven’t tried using it to clean my cat’s litter box, but, barring the wide slats, it would probably be great at that, too.
The fish spatula is just an incredibly versatile tool. For $10, why not upgrade your entire cooking situation? Plus, using a tool like this on some eggs or fish at home will make you look like Gordon Ramsay to your guests. Now all that’s left to do is throw the fish at them because it was raw and make beef Wellington instead.
The New Star Foodservice Fish Spatula is available on Amazon.
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