How To Season a New Mortar and Pestle with rice to sand it down and aromatic dried shredded coconut to cure it so that it is ready for use.
Choosing The Right Mortar and Pestle
When it comes to choosing a new mortar and pestle, there are many choices in terms of material and size. They can be made out of granite, marble, porcelain, and even stainless steel. I wanted one that is made of granite and is not too big or small.
I chose this set because it came with two pestles, one to replace the one I had lost. Most sets come with only one pestle. The length of the pestle is a good 6 inches. Some are only 5 inches long. I also like its deep bowl and the two cup capacity is perfect!
Seasoning and Curing The Mortar and Pestle
Do new mortars and pestles need to be seasoned and cured? There are good reasons to do it because bits of stone and abrasives may be present and these need to be removed before use. Anyways, I usually like do some kind of initial cleaning for all my new utensils used for food preparation. Depending on the material, it can be as easy and simple as boiling water and discarding it.
In this case, it takes a little more work but I think it is well worth the effort. Washing it with a brush is a first step in getting rid of residual granite powder left behind from the grinding process. Then, crushing and grinding something hard like rice help to sand and possibly dislodge tiny bits of stone that may be present.
The crushed rice combined with a little water becomes a paste that will eventually turn a pale gray shade. Remove, rinse it out, and repeat until rice paste is no longer gray. Two or three times will suffice.
Why Use Coconut?
In Malaysia, shredded or grated coconut is often used to season or cure clay pots and even woks. When fried or ground, coconut releases aromatic oils that will coat whatever vessel you are seasoning. For this reason, I used dried shredded coconut as the final step in curing my new mortar and pestle. I added a little water to make the crushed and ground coconut into a paste like the rice in the first two rounds.
Using the pestle, grind and coat the entire inner surface of the mortar with the coconut paste in a circular motion. Then, scoop it up with a spoon and discard.
Give the mortar and pestle a warm rinse. Do not use any soap. The mortar and pestle is now ready for use. It will only get better as you continue to use it.
The oils released will give the mortar a light initial sheen.
Similar Products Used in How To Season a New Mortar and Pestle
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Mortar and Pestle Set, Unpolished Granite, 6 Inch- 2 Cup Capacity
Heavy Duty, Unpolished Granite Mortar and Pestle Set, Holds 2 Cups
Granite Mortar and Pestle Set, 6 Inch – 2 Cup Capacity – Large Heavy Duty Unpolished Granite
- 1 set mortar and pestle
- 1 kitchen brush
- 2 kitchen towels
- 4 tbsp rice
- 2 tbsp dried shredded coconut
- A few tbsp water
- Thoroughly brush and rinse mortar and pestle under running water.
- Wipe dry with kitchen towel.
- Fold a kitchen towel into a pad. Place on the counter. Set washed and dried mortar on the kitchen towel pad.
- Add 2 tablespoons of rice into the mortar cavity. Moisten rice with a bit of water.
- Crush and grind the rice with the pestle in a circular motion all around the inner surface of the mortar. Add a little more water if necessary. The rice will eventually become a paste.
- Be sure to work the rice paste over the entire cavity with the pestle. This will take about 15 minutes.
- Scoop up the rice paste with a spoon. Discard.
- Brush and rinse the mortar and pestle under running water. Wipe dry.
- Repeat steps 4 through 8.
- Now, add 2 tablespoons of dry shredded coconut into the mortar cavity. Moisten shredded coconut with a bit of water.
- Crush and grind the shredded coconut with the pestle in a circular motion all around the inner surface of the mortar. Add a little more water if necessary. The shredded coconut will eventually become a paste.
- Be sure to work the coconut paste over the entire cavity with the pestle. This will take about 10 minutes.
- Scoop up the coconut paste with a spoon. Discard.
- Brush and rinse the mortar and pestle with warm water. (Please see right side picture in Step 11 above.) Wipe dry. Place mortar and pestle on counter to air dry completely before storing.
- Your mortar and pestle is now ready for use.