Cooking Tip: Fat Separator

Japanese cuisine is usually thought of as healthy, low fat food, and indeed, many of the recipes in my project cookbook are fresh, subtly flavored, and simply cooked with very little oil or fat. There are, however, quite a few deep-fried dishes—people all over the world enjoy crispy food—tempura, chikin-katsu, tori no kara-age, kushikatsu, lotus chips…. And some foods are loved because they are rich and fat: chashu, duck, certain fish, some cuts of beef and pork… Grilling or steaming these foods allows excess fat to melt away. Braising can also be a cooking method that eliminates extra fat; in addition, cooking food in liquid blends the flavors of all the ingredients and tenderizes tough cuts of meat.

using a fat separator

Braising as a means of getting rid of fat works especially well if you let the food cool so the fat rises to the top, then chill it so the fat solidifies. This method takes time and requires planning ahead. What to do if you want to eat right away? Use a fat separator! This small piece of kitchen-ware is useful for fat-deletion of stews, braised dishes, gravies, and sauces from many cuisines. It looks like a pitcher, but when you pour your hot broth into it, the liquid fills both the container and the spout. It looks comical because the spout opens from the bottom of the pitcher. Wait and you’ll see the fat rise to the top! Carefully tip the pitcher over an empty can and let the bit of oil in the spout pour off. Over a pot or bowl, pour slowly and watch to see when the bottom of the fat layer reaches the spout. Stop! Pour that fat into the can and dispose of it. It’s a neat trick that will save hundreds of calories!

using a fat separatorusing a fat separator.

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My separator is a simple glass model, but you can find them made of plastic, too. Some models have a little screen filter at the bottom of the spout to prevent bits of vegetables or whatever from clogging the spout which is quite narrow.

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4 thoughts on “Cooking Tip: Fat Separator

  1. Hi Kok Robin!
    My sister gave me this as a gift, and I’ve used it quite a bit. The glass is fragile, and the design with the spout sticking out makes storing it in my small kitchen difficult, but worth it. You can find them in plastic but I dislike the way plastic picks up color/flavor from hot food that you just can’t wash away.
    Tess

  2. Where can I purchase one of these?? – I prefer the glass one –
    My daughter gave me one for Christmas – I broke the spout, tried to fix and can’t but loved it and want to buy another

  3. Barbara.
    This IS the BEST one. It was a gift for my birthday from my sister, so I’ll have to ask her where she found it. I’m thinking that it was from Williams-Sonoma, which you can find online, though I did a quick look at their site and did not see it…
    Just emailed sis to ask where she found it.

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