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Dolsot (Korean stone bowl/pot) Suggestion, Please.

I am looking to buy a Dolsot.

http://media.maangchi.com/wp-content/...

http://www.dholidays.net/wp-content/u...

There is a Korean supermarket (H-mart) nearby and it does sell Dolsot, but it looks to be much smaller than the one from the restaurant. It is much swallower for sure - about half the height. I suppose I could buy it, but if I am going to spend money on a Dolsot, then I figure I might as well get the size close to what I need. By the way, I want the real stone one, but the ones which look to be clay.

I cannot find any Dolsot from Amazon.com or google shopping.

Any suggestion? Or should I settle for the local H-mart one .... it does not even have a stone cover...

Thanks.

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  1. No Asian restaurant supply stores nearby or Chinatown nearby? That'd be my first suggestion, could ask a Korean restaurant too, or any restaurant supply store should be able to source specific items for you. You could buy one over the internet but you'd not be able to see it first.

    http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/te...

    for example

    1 Reply
    1. re: TeRReT

      Yes, there is a Korean supermarket nearby and I went there just 20 minutes ago. It sells the Dolsot, but a bit smaller than I wanted. In addition, it does not come with a stone cover. This ebay seller sells this one, which may be the size I want (not sure), but it is a $30 stone bowl with a $50 shipping fee. $80 total.

      Yes, I bought a $80 hand made wok, but that is because (1) I knew it is a high quality wok, and (2) I use a wok often. There is no way I would use a Korean stone bowl to cook on a regular basis. It is really just something nice to have, not a must to have.

      I may just ask the Korean restaurant if it can buy one for me.... I can give Chinatown a try. I will go there this Saturday anyway.

      1. re: TeRReT

        Wow.... I didn't know you can search Japanese websites. :)

        By the way, I know you are a trained Italian chef. Can you cook something else too? Like Japanese and Korean, maybe?

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          I am learning more and more Japanese food, not necessarily the type in restaurants, but I am watching my fiancee's mother when she cooks and a lot of it is pretty straight forward once you have all the base ingredients, which are readily available here. I have now moved out and we just stocked our sauce pantry the other day, was a heavy load to carry but we are close to set now.

          Soy sauce, one regular and one entire bean or something, mirin, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, olive oil, vegetable oil, sake and probably more I'm forgetting

          Still working on buying all furiture oi.

          I have bought a lot of Japanese cookbooks here, and will be studying them lots, though all are in Japanese of course.

          We both love Korean as well, so will be looking to cook some of that as well once we get sorted out. It will be awhile before I'm allowed to buy something like a dolsot, but will cook what I can. We have a nice little grill and electric hot pot thing, so will definitely be doing something. We have a fridge but so far its just got beer, tea and tofu in it.

          1. re: TeRReT

            <I have now moved out>

            Good. Glad you finally find a place.

            <I have bought a lot of Japanese cookbooks here, and will be studying them lots, though all are in Japanese of course.>

            But you don't read Japanese.

            I went to Philly Chinatown and stopped by two kitchen stores and did not find Dolsot. I did find the Japanese cast iron pots:

            http://fairwayeq.com/images/C8-Iron18...

            but no Dolsot. Like I said, I don't need it right now, but it is something nice to have (not must to have).

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              That cast iron pot is a cute design; I've eyed it at HMart. It has some sort of enamel liner. But the ones I've seen are made in China. While probably worth the $20 (or so), it isn't the legendary Japanese cast iron. If I got it would be for nabe, table top soups and stews. But I already have good pots for that.

              1. re: paulj

                <But I already have good pots for that.>

                Then get a Dolsot like I will. :)

      2. Chem, I got a pair of stone pots/Dolsots with lids at the big H-mart in NYC's Koreatown.. (Manhattan 30's..). I thought you lived in tri-state area -- if so, I'd suggest you check this place out. They had 2-3 different sizes, lids, and wooden coasters as of about one year ago, when I got mine -- they were sitting on the shelves in the very back of the store. They looked like the ones in your first link.

        I've been super happy with them, although my first one became discolored a horrible oily yellow/orange after I seasoned it with sesame oil as one web site recommended!

        6 Replies
        1. re: iyc_nyc

          iyc_nyc and PaulJ

          I was looking for H-mart online purchase of Dolsot. I will see if I can find it. Yes, I live in the tristate area close to Philly. The small H-mart I have been to only has one size, no lid and no wood coasters for $20. Like I said, I don't need it, but it is one of those nice to have thing - but not must to have.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            Chem, let me know if you still have trouble.. It might take a month or two, but I could try to get one for you and ship it to you... Koamart.com used to carry them but there were reports of cracks on their bowls (although they looked identical to mine) and their web site no longer seems to be up..

            1. re: iyc_nyc

              You are too kind. Don't worry about it. I am sure I will find one. I was just curious if there is an easy access to one. If I really have trouble, then I will contact you guys, but I expect that I will able to find one soon.

              How is NYC?

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Okay -- definitely let me know if you can't find one!

                NYC is awesome -- can find everything you need here. :-)

            2. re: Chemicalkinetics

              How far are you from the huge, spectacular, new H-Mart in Edison, NJ? I recall seeing a few different sizes of dolsots there, but don't remember the details and it will probably be a while before I can get back to check it out.

              1. re: JoanN

                <new H-Mart in Edison, NJ>

                45-50 minutes. :) So it is do-able. I will head to Chinatown tomorrow and see if there is any Dolsot (doubful). I know the small H-mart at Levitttown, PA does not have what I want, and I have been there 2-3 times in the last month.

                I think a Dolsot is nice to have, but I can probably wait a bit. Thanks.

          2. My HMart does have stone ones, with stone covers. I don't recall which sizes. So far I've only bought an earthenware one, 5.5" inside diameter. With sandpots and a cazuela I have plenty of items in this general category.

              1. re: JoanN

                http://www.koamart.com/index.php?cPat...
                the offerings as koamart are similar to what I've seen at a large HMart.

                1. re: JoanN

                  http://www.koamart.com/product_info.p...

                  This actually looks very cool, except that the picture is in such low resolution that I don't know if the stone surface is smooth or very rough. Thanks a lot for you guys. I will give the H-Mart one more try (a different H-Mart) of course, and if I don't get it there, then I will surely buy it from your suggested website.

                  By the way, how did you guys (JoanN and paulj) find out these sites. I surfed and surfed and could not come across these sites.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    I'm sure it doesn't help, but now that I know of your quest to find these bowls, I am seeing them all over the place here :P I saw a stone one with lid clearanced at an ikeaesque store here yesterday. I have also seen them in the grocery store and other small shops :P I'd have bought one but I'm still on a strict purchasing system now. I am not allowed to buy anything we don't need right away. I will maybe get one eventually though, but I am not sure how I'd even use it, all I have at the moment is a portable IH unit.

                    1. re: TeRReT

                      <I'm sure it doesn't help, but now that I know of your quest to find these bowls, I am seeing them all over the place here :P>

                      Dude, why don't you tell me that you are seeing a lot beautiful women all over Japan as well. :P

                      No, it is not helping. :D

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        I thought that would be rubbing it in a little too much, and I thought it was obvious that I'd be surrounded by beautiful women, especially here :P

                2. BTW, how hot do you have to get these things to get that crispy bi-bim-bap experience? Does it have to sit in the oven at 500 for like an hour?

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: grant.cook

                    I've seen recipes that call for putting the dolsot into a preheated 425 F oven for about half an hour. But I've also read that the only way to ensure that the dolsot gets hot enough for the rice to crisp is to heat it directly over a gas flame.

                    1. re: grant.cook

                      No idea. But I assume the technique is similar to the Chinese sandpots. One would heat the vessel on a stove, not in an oven. Afterall, neither Chinese nor Korean are big into oven.

                      http://youtu.be/ZKIoqjXrijs?t=8m57s

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        I don't have a stove or an oven, just an IH plate and a microwave/oven/steamer thing that might be able to heat the bowl, but i am still not sure what its capable of. My fiancee's mother has just a toaster oven and little fish oven thing in the gas cooktop, plus the microwave/oven thing, that was the biggest shock to me when I got here. They asked me to make lasagna, get it all ready and then eh, where's the oven? The microwave contraption was able to cook and brown the lasagna but its still foreign to me.

                        1. re: TeRReT

                          Yeah, oven is not a very common tool for most East Asians (Chinese, Japanese, Korea). It is viewed more as a restaurant tool. For example, the so called Chinese "bakery" is steam-based, not baked:

                          http://i.istockimg.com/file_thumbview...

                          Now, Indians and Pakistanis are different stories.

                      2. re: grant.cook

                        I put mine directly on the gas stovetop, low heat (typically over a flame tamer),. and let it heat up. Doesn't take long.

                        I first spread sesame oil inside, that spread out the rice -- to get a nice crisp.

                        1. re: iyc_nyc

                          ?? So you have one already? Cool. Did you get yours from H-mart or Koamart.com? I think I will hit the bigger H-mart next weekend. I tried Chinatown this weekend, and did not see anything remotely close, and the small H-mart near my place only offers the very small stone Dolsot. Not so small in the diameter size, but small in the height/depth. It kinda looks like this:

                          http://ineluctable.org/ieatfood/dolso...

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            Yes, I've had mine about a year. :-) I got it from the bigger H-mart in NYC's Koreatown.. they had several shelves of them back then (probably still do), in different sizes.. looked exactly like the ones in your original post (i.e., deeper than the one you link in your most recent post).

                            Again, let me know if you have trouble tracking one down. I won't be able to get to H-mart again for another month or two due to my nutty schedule, but would be happy to pick one up for you when I can make my way over there!

                      3. Thanks all for your advises. I went to the H-mart at Edison today, and bought a Dolsot (stone bowl). I was so excited when I saw it.... I immediately left and went to the BBQ buffet restaurant next door. Yes, I know it is a strange behavior. When experiments started to work for me during graduate school, I would often go out to eat instead of continuing my experiments.

                        The photos attached belong to the Dolsot I bought. It was sold for $39.99 It is pretty big and heavy. 20 inches width in opening (outer diameter), and 10 lb 8 oz (4.8 kg) in weight. I would have preferred a 18 inch one, but 18 inch ones do not come with a cover. I wish I brought my camera. There were many other Dolsots. Some appear to have nonstick coating. Of particular, there was one which has an aluminum surrounding: stone interior, aluminum exterior. It kind of looked like this following, except it was NOT a pressure cooker:

                        http://images.yiyibusiness.com/produc...

                        I was seriously consider getting that instead.

                        I also saw many interesting things at H-mart. I bought some salmon roe and flying fish roe. I had a really hard time getting salmon roe. I also saw a 1000 grit Naniwa waterstone sold for $5.99. I am sure it is its low tier stone. Still, $5.99 is cheap by any standard. I saw bamboo knives. I guess they are the same idea as those plastic knives.

                        http://image.made-in-china.com/4f0j00...

                         
                         
                        7 Replies
                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          Yes, Korean markets like are an interesting mix of traditional and modern. They have the large earthenware kimchi pots, and Samsung kimchi refrigerators. Crude steel knifes and garden tools, and the flimsy stainless steel tools. Stoneware and light nonstick aluminum.pans. And induction pressure rice cookers.

                          1. re: paulj

                            <Samsung kimchi refrigerators>

                            Oh my. There are really such things:

                            http://kimchiwholesale.com/samsung-ki...

                            http://www.elandappliance.com/kimchi-...

                            Is Kimchi a brandname? Or are Kimchi refrigerators really designed for kimchi like wine refrigerators?

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              I believe they have multiple compartments, allowing you to store different types of kimchi, each at its optimal temperature.

                              1. re: paulj

                                Thanks Paul. So it is really for kimchi afterall. I just wasn't sure if it is merely a brandname like "Viking" (has nothing to do with the real Viking) or "Electrolux".

                                I don't eat much kimchi, but I do understand that Koreans take kimchi very seriously.

                                <They have the large earthenware kimchi pots>

                                Now that you mentioned it, yes I saw some pots. I just assume those are rice pots, but I suppose those could be kimchi pots.

                                http://www.flickr.com/photos/11736237...

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  The kimchi fridge would be useful. I love love love kimchi, but it has a very distinct odour, and if you always keep some in your fridge I find it can cause the fridge to also have that very distinct odour as well as things inside. A dedicated kimchi fridge would help in that aspect.

                                  1. re: TeRReT

                                    One would think the concept of a separate kimchi refrigerator work well if there is a lot of space. I have the impression that Koreans (in Korea) often live in small apartments. A separate refrigerator is do-able, but will require some sacrifice. I guess it is all about priority.

                                    1. re: TeRReT

                                      I like that they are programmable to have different temps in different zones so you can be fermenting in one area and storing in another. Plus they have a built in system for reducing the smell. I'd love one for my ferments but at this time I can't justify the cost of the size I'd want. I've read that they also are wonderful at storing produce.

                          2. Update again.

                            Just made my bimbibap with the aid of my new Dolsot (see photo). I will have it for my lunch tomorrow. Actually, I cooked most of the ingredients with other cookware (a saucepan, a fry pan, and a wok). The rice, however, was made with the Dolsot. The rice did form crust near the Dolsot bottom. On the other hand, a Dolsot is not the only cookware which can achieve this. I will have to play around with it for a few times.

                            Dolsot is definitely a great serveware. Nothing is cooler than a bowel of hot bimbibap served in a warm Dolsot. I have yet to form my opinion as a pure cookware.