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Oct 10, 2006 09:47 PM

Chinese clay pot question . . . wire?

I just unwrapped my cheap grocery store purchased clay pot (glazed on the inside, unglazed outside) to find it is wrapped with a couple loops of heavy wire. I'm preeeeeety sure this is just a packaging thing for support, but thought I'd check in with the 'hounds first.

Does YOUR clay pot have wire on it?

Massamam curry is what I'll be making...working up to Vietnamese Carmel Claypot Fish...
: )

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  1. If you can take the lid off without removing the wire, you can leave it on. I've eaten from a restaurant hotpot with a wire cage. It seems to be a feature of the least expensive pots. I left the wire on mine.


    1. Can I have your Massaman curry recipe if I give you my caramel claypot fish recipe? Here's mine if you didn't see it last year:

      Oh wait I see you posted in that thread! Well can I still have your massaman curry recipe?

      Anyway my claypot is probably just like yours, glazed & brown inside, unglazed & white outside, with couple loops of wire around it. I still don't know what the wire's for and my mom still says it's for looks. I didn't remove it but it didn't bother me having it there.

      1. thanks very much for the replies!

        Alice Patis, I'll be consulting that thread from last year for sure.

        I can shamelessly offer you a comparison on two premade massaman pastes...

        Mae Ploy brand "masman curry paste" is what I used last night. I find it has slightly more heat than Mae Sri. You add your own coconut milk, tamarind juice (I used paste), sugar, and peanuts (I cheated with natural chunky peanut butter) and fresh lime as condiment. The listed ingredients are
        Dried red chilli ,Lemon grass, Garlic, Shallot, Salt, Galangal, Shrimp paste, Coriander seed, Cumin, Kaffir lime peel, Mace, Cardamom, Cinnamon

        what struck me is how much like good mole paste from Mexico this was!

        Mae Sri brand is what I've used in the past and it's delicious too. But it's 22% sugar as listed on the pkg. Sugar, chili, garlic, shallots, spice, tamarind are the listed ingredients. No need to locate tamarind, just add coconut milk, protein and veg....

        I like this best as a lamb stew with onion, potato and green beans, but we went vegetarian for the week so left out the lamb. Tofu takes the flavors well of course...

        1. Clay pots are very fragile. The wire gives some support.

          On the other hand, don't worry too much about breaking the clay pot. Common sense about banging it against things, or heating it or cooling it too quickly is sufficient.


          1. hello: I am a newbie in this hound's site. I came across yr chinese clay pot question. I have a chinese clay pot too but not wire. I would appreciate if u can take a picture and show me how it is wire and I would like to do the same to my pot. Tks in advance.

            4 Replies
            1. re: dgotsch

              I don't think it would be worth your time to add a wire support to a pot that did not come with it.

              There are 2 circumferential bands of wire, and 4 that run from the bottom band, up, and hook over the rim. The ends of the vertical wires wrap around the circumferential ones. Still, if you have a stiff enough wire, and are handy with pliers, you could do it in a couple of hours.

              To find an online picture, I'd suggest searching for 'sand pot'.

              1. re: paulj

                Does anyone know where you can get a cast iron version in the "greater" bay area? I was in a restaurant recently and they used a cast iron one.

                1. re: Dawgmommy

                  Any large Korean shops around? The Japanese name for this is Tetsunabe


                  1. re: paulj

                    Hey, thanks. I looked at the picture; it's not quite the same. The one that I saw had a slight rim and I think the lid was cast iron as well.