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The Best Of Hong Kong
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By Adele Wong | March 21st, 2016

I am the owner of a beautiful designer steamer. Its lid and base are made from muted off-white matte ceramic. The steaming container itself, which fits right in the middle, is weaved from bamboo, and comes with an exquisite, porous terracotta bottom.

Sure, so I can’t comfortably fit more than 10 dumplings or a plate that’s much larger than a saucer into the vessel, but even though it’s not the most efficient steaming device in the world, it is staying in my kitchen. I invested in it for a reason: My stove just wouldn’t look the same without this art piece perched permanently on top of it.

Sometimes, I catch myself trying to squeeze a whole heap of ingredients into my delicate, attractive, overflowing steamer despite all the warning signs: the lid won’t close properly; there are sticks and strands peeping out; the fish is longer than its container; the blocks of tofu are just too damn tall.

The thing is, I am in possession of larger, better-qualified steaming vessels — but as is the case with someone who chooses her cooking equipment based on looks as much as functionality, sometimes logic simply fails and vanity takes over. I have been known to give priority to my good-looking cooking devices because I am, during my moments of weakness, inexplicably, irreversibly irrational.

Did I mention that I got tired of my wooden salt and pepper shakers — which were, in my defense, so early 2000s — and switched to stainless steel last year? Or that I took a gamble on an untested skillet last month because of its sleek, minimalistic all-black look?

My name is Adele, and I have a problem. 

 

A mouthy soliloquy by Adele Wong. See more Food for Thought columns here.