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Aug 4, 2009 02:34 PM

Anyone know where to buy the metal steamers they use at Din Tai Fung?

I'm assuming many of you have eaten at Din Tai Fung in Baldwin Park...they cook and serve the dumplings there in an metal stackable steamer...functionally similar to the bamboo steamer, but instead made of metal.

As a side note, I've kind of given up on the bamboo steamers...they are hard to keep clean and they tend to decay.

I've been searching around for a place to buy the particular ones they use there (either by mail or locally), but I haven't had any luck. And in fact I asked them and they claimed I could buy them at any Chinese cookware store, which is clearly not true.

Is there perhaps a Chinese restaurant supply store that sells them? I've actually wandered around the big one on Alameda (whose name escapes me) and couldn't find them there.


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  1. You can buy them at larger 99 Ranch stores, also Hawaii supermarket, and in the San Gabriel Superstore on Valley and San Gabriel Blvd.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      Yeah, Hawai'i Supermarket is probably your best bet. Best prices and largest selection.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        Saw a banner out front that said "Grand Opening", they under new owners or something?

    2. You might try Action Sales in Monterey Park a restaurant supply store.
      Action Sales Inc
      415 S Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754-3209
      (626) 308-1988

      8 Replies
      1. re: monku

        You beat me to it. Action Sales is my favorite place for restaurant equipment and supplies, especially Asian stuff!

        1. re: sel

          They seem to have everything any Asian restaurant has.
          I would have sent the poster downtown just outside of Chinatown (near Nick's Cafe) where there a bunch of cash and carry Chinese restaurant supply places I slum around, but I don't even know the names, just where they are.

          1. re: monku

            Now I gotta go downtown and scrounge around there - thanks!

            1. re: sel

              if you go around lunchtime, you could have lunch at homegirl cafe on bruno and alameda

              1. re: westsidegal

                Nick's ham & eggs in town, Denver omelette and home made salsa. Tuesday & Thursday is BBQ day.

                Real LA people eat there....police (uniform and undercover), city & county workers even saw Tom LaBonge eating breakfast there one day.
                Owned by an LAPD detective.

                Matter of fact one of those Chinese cash & carry joints is right next door and another right across the street there on Elmyra. Got a couple of those Victoronix paring knives there for like $3.50 each. They also carry that ABC black tea (green bag) in a 5 pound bag for like $'s the brand they serve it at the cheap Chinese restaurants in town and it makes good brewed iced tea.

                Nick's Cafe
                1300 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                1. re: monku

                  I've been driving past Nick's Cafe without stopping. I'm down for the ham but not really into eggs. Anything else you rec? Pancakes or sandwiches or.......?

                  1. re: sel

                    Sorry about the egg thing...but they're known for their baked ham and eggs. They bake whole hams everyday and hand carve them. They've got pancakes and French toast and yes sandwiches. But figure out something you can put their salsa on.
                    The BBQ lunches are pretty good on Tuesdays & Thursdays starting at 10am.

                    Come to think of it I've only eaten the ham & eggs, Denver Omelette and different BBQ lunches. No sandwiches or pancakes.

                    Worth checking out if you want a taste of the old LA.

                    They open at 5am and close by 2pm and on Saturdays they close at 11am. Closed Sunday.

                    (always think of Nick's Cafe when I see the painting "Nighthawks" by Edward Hopper)

                2. re: westsidegal

                  Never actually ate at Homegirl, just got drinks and bakery stuff to go. I just may do that!

                  Homegirl Cafe
                  130 Bruno St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

        2. Bamboo steamers are a bear to maintain, but I am of the opinion that the taste of the food is better from the bamboo steamers.

          99 Ranch sells metal steamers. Actually Williams-Sonoma sells them too, just at a ridiculous markup.

          4 Replies
          1. re: J.L.

            When Din Tai Fung was in its planning stage, the owners intended to use bamboo steamers. They were surprised and disappointed to find out that the use of bamboo steamers is forbidden by the health department.

            1. re: Sam D.

              Really?! Bamboo steamers are verboten?

              1. re: J.L.

                That is what I understood from reading a news article describing the challenges that Din Tai Fung went through in opening the restaurant. So the info is not first hand. But it makes sense because I've never seen any restaurant, Asian or other, using anything but stainless steel steamers, at least here in L. A. County. And between the two types of steamers, stainless would be far less prone to any risk of contamination.

                1. re: J.L.

                  Yes. California's Uniform Retail Food Code prohibits wood as food contact surface except for cutting boards and a few other items like salad bowls.

                  Chapter 6, Article 1, Section 114132

            2. I think I saw these for sale at LAX-C.

              Or I could be misremembering things. I was kind of gibbering at the time at the sheer size of the place.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Bjartmarr

                LAX-C does have them with a wide choice of sizes. They're located on N. Main St. just outside of Chinatown.

              2. Saw a bunch of stainless steel steamers at various sizes in LA chinatown--it's in the shopping plazas with individual stalls--several of them sell pots and pans and you can definitely bargain if you like.

                1 Reply
                1. re: hppzz

                  Thanks everyone. I'm excited to check out Action Sales - that's exactly the kind of place I was looking for.