We are huge fans of premium cookware and recently we are into another series. This time they are from Vermicular. One is enamelled cast iron round pot for making waterless recipes while the other one is a frying pan. We will going to introduce the features of them and if you’re also into premium cookware, check out our online shop to explore more!
Vermicular精品廚具開箱 Unboxing Vermicular Premium Cookware
Here are a Vermicular oven pot round 22cm, magnet trivet, Vermicular enamelled cast iron frying pan 26cm, glass lid for frying pan and organic cotton pot holder.
Before we share the unboxing article, we would like to get into some background information about the Vermicular brand. It’s actually a brand we have long heard for. It’s a Japanese brand with a relatively brief history of producing cookware. Their first pot was released in 2010 but now their products have price higher than its competitors. We used to be doubtful about their price positioning.
After some research made, we learnt that the brand owner is from the Hijikata family which has been renowned for their extreme accurate iron casting ability since 1936. However, when the demand for heavy machinery came to a close, the third generate of the Hijikata family has launch the Vermicular brand to produce premium cookware utilizing the family’s legacy of iron casting ability. Their cast iron pots are popular for the craftsmanship. The pot body and lid are meticulously handcrafted until they fit at a 0.01 mm accuracy. The excellent water retaining ability maximizes umami in waterless cooking
So why is it called Vermicular? Vermicular is actually compacted graphite iron, a high strength cast iron with excellent heat conduction ability. This is also the key material for making a Vermicular pot/ pan. From the name of the brand we can also see how the brand priorities the materials they use.
Vermicular琺瑯鑄鐵鍋開箱 Unboxing Vermicular Oven Pot Round
We have the pot, magnet trivet and cotton pot holder here
And they looks like this. Together with the pot there is also a recipe book (yet it’s written in Chinese)
Every time we do unboxing, cats come to the table. Vincent was good. He just watched the process
When every assembled.
This is a 22cm oven pot round in pearl pink.
The magnet trivet is very convenient to use
With one hand we can dismantle it
- 唔易痴底 – 由於食材係無油咁直接放上鍋，痴底既話成鍋食物可以報銷
- 保溫能力強 – 無水烹調用較溫和既熱力引出食材本身鮮味，一個保溫力強既鍋係基本
- 鎖水能力強 – 如果個煲好易令蒸氣散失，食材會越煮越乾，失去無水料理意義
The whole pot is designed for waterless cooking. If you know about the mechanism of waterless cooking, you know that there are 3 criteria for the pot:
- Non-stickiness: As ingredients are to be put on the pot surface without oil, if the pot sticks, we can dispose the whole pot of food
- Excellent heat insulation: In waterless cooking we use relatively low heat to induce the umami of food, we need to have a pot with good heat insulation ability to keep the heat inside
- Water retaining ability: if the pot can easily release steam, food will become drier and drier and make it meaningless to carry out waterless cooking
Apart from these basics, a Vermicular pot has features to make itself excels in waterless cooking:
- The pot body and lid are meticulously handcrafted until they fit at a 0.01 mm accuracy. Not only is it the pride of Vermicular’s craftsmanship, the excellent water retaining ability actually maximizes umami in waterless cooking
- There are water retaining spots on the pot. They help steam to condense on them and drop back to the pot. This feature further enhances the water retaining ability of the pot
- Ridges in the bottom are actually a feature added after Vermicular has conducted some studies. They found that food becomes more delicious in waterless cooking after adding this ridge design
The 0.01mm pot sealing feature makes the motion of the lid very limited which helps retain water and heat
As the first meal, we want to have something simple and being able to test the performance of the pot. We decided to make a very simple waterless steaming dish
Marinate the chicken with soy sauce and mirin for 10 mins, then chop the ingredients and add them into the pot. Add some salt and pepper, cook it with very low heat for 30 mins
The cooking was very simple and we wanted to see if the umami of the ingredients could really be brought out. The result was satisfying. It’s delicious and it’s sweet in a very natural way even no sugar was added. We can clear our bowls of rice very quickly with this hot pot of food. Inky was being attract to the table as well
If you like the chicken to be juicy, you don’t actually need to cook for 30 mins. Yet the advantage of cooking for longer is that you will get a shallow pot of soup coming from the ingredients. This soup is just mouth watering! By so doing we could also test the water retaining ability of the pot and obviously Vermicular did well in retaining water.
The technique of cooking food without adding water to bring out umami can actually be applied to other dishes like soup/ curry. We are excited to discover more soon!
Interested? Head to our online store. We have different colors and sizes.
Vermicular琺瑯鑄鐵平底鍋開箱 Unboxing Vermicular Enamelled Cast Iron Frying Pan
The cast iron frying pan and its glass lid and our naughty Inky
The pot also comes with a recipe book (in Chinese). The lid can stand alone… Sorry I guess Inky wants to be the spokesperson… spokeskitten of the brand
The pot weighs about 1.1kg which is very light in terms of a cast iron pan. There is no problem to lift a cat or toss the pan during cooking
The pan is a good looking one with exquisite craftsmanship. However there is more. Its design also considered the functionality of the pan and one of the major considerations is to help making more crispy and aromatic stir frying food.
Thin, using of vermicular cast iron and enamel coating, this pan is designed for having extraordinary heat conduction ability hence triggering Maillard reaction on the surface of food in a speedy way but keeping the inside succulent.
To showcase this feature, you may take a look at how quickly water evaporates on the pan. In the footage we used medium heat to preheat the pan for 30 seconds, then we added a tablespoon of water. You can see the water vaporize instantaneously. You may imagine how fast food surface becomes crispy after setting on the pan
To test a frying pan there is nothing more direct than to fry an egg on it because egg is very easy to stick on a pan and we can also test how quickly it can to cook a crispy pan fried egg.
The manual said that we need to first preheat the pan by medium heat then add oil until white smoke emerges. Before adding the egg, we need to turn off the heat and cook the egg by the remaining heat. If heat is not sufficient, turn on low heat until finishing cooking.
We followed the manual and have the below observations:
- Even the stove was off when the egg was added, the egg still becomes crispy fairly fast. The pan has fabulous heat transmission efficiency and heat capacity
- The enamel coating is non-sticky. There was no problem to take out the egg with spatula. However, it’s not like a Teflon pan which you can just shake the pan and the egg is completely detached
Fried bean sprouts is another dish we can test the performance of the pan
Simply add bean sprouts into a preheated pan with oil and fry for 1 min. Before taking out, add a handful of salt and pepper
If the pan has excellent heat transmission ability, the bean sprouts will be crunchy and succulent instead of tender and watery. As expected, the result was very good!
According to these observations, we agreed with the brand’s claim that the Vermicular frying pan can help make more crispy and aromatic food. However, as the non-stickiness is not as high as a Teflon pan, ingredients should be stirred frequently during cooking to prevent getting sticky. Also, as the heat transmission efficiency is very high, heat control becomes very important to get rid of charred food. We can’t wait to use it in making more dishes. We guess it can make a perfect dish of stirred fried beef noodles with aromatic 「wok hei」. We will try to make that next time!
Interested? Head to our online store. We have different colors and sizes.
Another premium cookware brand available in our store
This mold-proof cutting board, though no available in our store, is highly recommended. It can be bought on Amazon