Before I was gifted the 10,000 Abilities Always Pan, I’d been cooking everything that required a sear, sauté, shallow fry, or scramble in a humongous pseudo wok procured from my local dollar store. I’d just lost most of my kitchen to a breakup and I guess I felt like single people didn’t get to have nice things.
Then, just like that, a replacement kitchen arrived in a box. Really, it was a limited edition version of the Always Pan from direct-to-consumer cookware brand Our Place. Made to mark Lunar New Year, which starts tomorrow, the set includes a nonstick cast aluminum pan and lid, a bamboo and a stainless steel steamer, an acacia wood spatula, and a pair of extra-large cooking chopsticks to use like tongs. It all nests together like a beautiful Russian doll of cooking essentials—a win for cabinet space and kitchen cuteness.
Our Place surveyed Chinese-Americans on how they celebrate, cook, and serve food during Lunar New Year to design each component of the set, which features splashes of dusty red for good luck. I also like that it was made in one of China’s few women-owned, third-generation factories in Yongkang, Zhejiang, which the brand says was selected for its quality craftsmanship and fair working conditions.
Now you can find me frying chili eggs, sautéing shiitakes, steaming chicken, and then kicking back while the pan cleans up after itself. Okay, so you still need soap and water. But if you cleverly steam your veggies after sautéing, the water bubbling away under the steamer basket will simultaneously power wash the pan beneath. Bliss!
Now, if only it could go ahead and buy my groceries too.
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