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Korean Stone Pot---care and seasoning?

  • c

A Korean friend, knowing my great fondness for dolsat bibimbap, gave me a beautiful green granite stone pot for Christmas. It came without instructions (in either language) and neither he nor other Korean friends know how to care for or initially season the pot. On top of that, after scouring the 'net, I can't get a good idea of how much heat it can take before placing the bibimbap ingredients inside. One recipe said to heat the stone pot "hot enough to burn your fingers." I guess I'm used to more specific instruction than that.

I have no issues with experimentation, but I don't want to do anything that'll make it brittle or burst into tiny shards.

Welcoming any tips from hounds who've been there or have a Korean grandma who knows exactly what I need to do. Thanks in advance!

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  1. As usual, after searching enough to make me think I have to find some other resource, the web's mysteries reveal themselves. I located, in small print on the box, the name of the stone pot manufacturer, and they have a site in English as well as Korean.

    Some pertinent information is there, not the least of which is the statement that bibimbap is "Acknowledged by Michael Jackson, the Worldy Known Representative [of] Korean Food." Wow.

    I could still use some pointers from those of you who've cooked with stone. Please!

    Link: http://stonelee.com/english/index1.htm

    1 Reply
    1. re: Christine

      I would like to know how your stone pot cooking has gone! I am thinking of getting one...I love how the rice gets so crispy around the edges where it sits on the stone! I have done a bit of research in how to heat/season these, but haven't taken the plunge and bought one yet! Does yours have the lid, or simply the bowl? Did you first boil salted water and then rub all over with sesame oil? What do you put it on when it is hot, a wooden coaster? Well, very curious! I can see making many wonderful rice dishes with one of these! Also, how large is yours? Thanks!

    2. HIYA!
      I bought a stone fry pan just last night. Then, before I used it I realized that there might be certain ways to care and use it so I looked online and found your question. I looked at the link you provided but I haven't found anything useful on it. I haven't exhausted the whole site but a few minutes of looking doesn't bring anything up.

      I will ask my boss' wife later today and let you know what she says. I am teaching English in Korea so access to Koreans is pretty easy! I'll let you know what I find out. I nearly bought a stone bibimbap bowl but decided I'd just get the fry pan now and maybe I'll buy a bowl in the future.

      It was cheap at 18,000 won, or about $US18 and the stone bowl is about $12. Not bad. I haven't looked around on the web for prices, but I did see, during my search for care and use instructions, a couple of prices. I think I saw $35 once or twice.

      This is made from granite. It's made for, I think, cooking meats but I'm going to use it for Korean style pancakes and frying sweet potato slices, maybe dipped in a flour batter first. I don't know if I should use oil or if it'll cook well without oil, and if the pan will be fine without oil.

      I'll ask the lady about both use and care. I've got other friends too who can probably tell me so I'll ask them too.

      Have you gotten any answers yet?

      Troy.

      1. hmmm.. I'm also curious about how to use the little korean stone pot that I have.
        I've tried to make a version of bibimbap in it, but have been pretty unsuccessful at getting the amazing crunchy layer of rice along the pot as I do whenever I order it in the restaurant.
        Do I have to add lots of oil to the bottom? Am I not putting the oven at a high enough temperature? How long is it supposed to take?
        I'm hoping that somebody can give some tips :) It seems like all of us posting here have questions and no answers so far. Thanks!

        1. Maybe I be a little bit of help. I have uncle who worked for some Korean restaurants in NYC area... :)

          Korean stone pot, called "Dol Sot", doesn't require any "seasoning" per se, unlike those cast-iron pots/pans. These are sturdy enough to withhold some serious heats and beats. You can scrub them without fear of damaging its surface. Actually if you are using it for "DolSot Bibimbop", you would HAVE to soak them in hot water and give it good scrub to get it clean after the meal, to get rid of those burnt rice...

          I noticed my uncle actually assemble the Bibimbop in the pot and put it on the stove, when he treats us at home. He did mention they have bunch of these pots in the oven in the actual restaurant and they assemble them as the order comes, in the hot stone pot. But I think this alternative method will do the job and it's much safer. I wouldn't want to handle heavy stone pot that's blazingly hot, straight out of oven...

          For crispy bottom for "Dol Sot Bibimbop":
          1. Get all ingredients ready (toppings, etc) and assemble the Bibimbop as usual in the stone pot, with rice at the bottom and other veggies and meat toppings on the top. The sauce doesn't go in right now, as it will sip through and won't get the bottom crispy.
          2. Put the stone pot on top of stove, under medium heat. You are not cooking anything here. We are just waiting until the stonepot is heated through for that crispy rice at the bottom. This won't take long, so you don't want to leave the kitchen.
          3. I think 3-5 mins would be enough for the pot to heat through, but since everyone's kitchen is different, you might need to experiment. You definitely want to hear "sizzling" sound... Please remember these stonepots will retain heat even after it's off the stove, so if you see smoke coming out of your pot or smell burnt rice, it might be too late.
          4. Move the stone pot to the eating area. Remember the pot will be HOT and these pots usually don't have any "handles" to hold on to, so you might want to be extra careful there. Now is the time to add the sauce of your choice--say sauce based or the usual hot sauce based one (GoChuJang). Enjoy!

          With the same pot and if it comes with lid, you can also cook some awesome rice with the slightly burnt bottom, which I love... Koreans call it "NuRoongJi" and these used to be fought over... so tasty! I think rice cooked in this kind of vessel is a bit more chewy and sticky, as the heat is even and steam doesn't escape as much due to heavy lid.

          I hope you can enjoy your first homemade "DolSot Bibimbop" soon! Let us know how it goes. :)

          4 Replies
          1. re: flowerpig

            hi flowerpig!

            thanks so much for the helpful tips!!!!
            i just tried making it right now for dinner and it worked :)
            I got the crunchy rice layer on the bottom and i made it with king oyster mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms. Then I added the red pepper paste to make it spicy.
            Mine has a lid so I did put the lid on while it was on the stove.

            I think I just need to experiment to make sure I get the timing right. I didn't burn the rice this time, but I wasn't quite sure when to take it off the stove. I'm sure if I do it a few more times, I'll get a feel for when it sounds right :)

            Thanks again!!

            1. re: sumashi

              I am glad it worked! Mmm mushroom Bibimbop sounds really good. I am sure it will get better as you make it and is getting a good hang of it.

              If you like boiled browned/crispy rice (called "SoongNyoong", sometimes served in some restaurant as hot beverage), you just need little bit of PLAIN rice (certainly not after Bibimbop session) on hot stone pot in thin layer until it gets crispy and pour water until it boils... I guess it might be an acquired taste, but it's good and very comforting on a cold cold day.... not to mention an easy cleanup ;)

            2. re: flowerpig

              I have been watching the Korean cooking show on TV and they always use a pliers like device for removing the hot pot from the stove or oven. Do you know where I can find one of these pliers?

              1. re: ratfur

                Korean grocery? I think I have what you are talking about. Pliers with an angled jaw. Only cost a few dollars. I got mine at HMart (large Korean chain), but I've also seen them at 99Ranch (Chinese chain). There's at least one online seller of stone pots that might also carry them.

            3. hello,my friends told me be sure to put rice in dolsot (stone pot or bowl) before heating so as not to spall or crack bowl do not heat dry! heat to med hot about 250-300 degrees you will notice rice starting to fry or sizzle take off heat and add toppings "precooked" except egg, if you wish may be placed on inside of bowl to cook on side of dolsot not on top! of toppings let egg cook and serve once bowl is safe on heat resistant tray or holder that will not move or slip. you do not want 300 degree granite burning anything like you or the floor or table! once secure enjoy, most Koreans will share out of the bowl family style and not use seperate plates or bowls just mix it all together and scrape rice off sides for a real good treat yum! yum! yum! crisp and savory! add sauce if you want, some like a sweet/savory/hot sauce. it's your world live as you like! your friend Eddyj

              3 Replies
              1. re: eddyj

                Might be a dumb question but am new to the Korean cooking thing though I love Bibimbap and Soon Tofu.

                We just picked up our stone pots and soon tofu bowls from a nice shop in Westminister.

                I assume that the rice is already cooked before you put it in the hot stone pot? You don't cook the rice in there do you? Seems like that would work as well but might not crisp up or work like described.

                Thanks.

                1. re: BeachGrub

                  http://yumyumasia.com/category/rice-a...

                  Scroll down a ways and you'll see May 11/Dol Sot Bibimbap

                  FWIW I have cooked rice in the stone bowl but it comes out very scorched...basically all crust. I liked it but I was playing around more than anything.

                  1. re: gimmeflavor

                    Thanks. We tried it out Soon Tofu last night and because we didn't want to dirty two pots for the two of us, we cooking the rice (brown) in the stone pot. Turned out great. Just the right amount of crispy on the edges.

                    We need to adjust our sauce a bit. Ours ended up slightly more oily and needed salt added. Otherwise it was right on and close to what I like at Cho Dang. The big issue was we put frozen potstickers in and they were nothing like the nice dumplings at CD. So I have some work there still. Overall, great fun. My kimchee cucumbers were awesome as well. We bought pickled beansprouts because we were lazy. But overall, the only drawback was the garlic breath in the morning.