I’ll admit I have a “little bowl” fetish. There’s nothing that makes me happier than having all the ingredients for a dish I’m about to prepare lined up in little bowls around me. Say I’m making a stir-fry for dinner. I use a stainless-steel mixing bowl to hold marinating beef strips and another for broccoli pieces. But what about that little bit of minced garlic, the tablespoon of chopped ginger, the halfcup of peanuts, the handful of bean sprouts? I only need little bowls for these.
Over the years I’ve kept my eyes open for handy little bowls just for this purpose, and when I find some, I buy several. One version I find useful is a sturdy, stackable, dishwasher-safe glass bowl that comes in graduated sizes. I like the really small 2-1/4-inch-wide one for spices and pastes and the 3-inch one for nuts, chopped olives, sun-dried tomatoes, etc. Look for these bowl s (made by J. G. Durand) in kitchen and home stores, or you can now buy them online from www.kitchenetc.com.
I found an unbreakable alternative at Crate & Barrel. These 3-inch-wide stainless-steel bowls stack neatly and clean easily. Another handy container is available from King Arthur Flour’s Baker’s Catalogue. It’s a version of a restaurant “condiment” cup (which King Arthur calls an ingredient cup), and it has a capacity of 3-1/2 tablespoons. These cups are available as a set of ten.