Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

Object of Desire: The Vermicular Musui-Kamado, the Stylish Multi-Cooker from Japan

Search
Object of Desire The Vermicular MusuiKamado the Stylish MultiCooker from Japan Vermicular Japanese cooking pot

Object of Desire: The Vermicular Musui-Kamado, the Stylish Multi-Cooker from Japan

April 17, 2020

There are a few of us at Remodelista who never took to the Instant Pot. Ease and cooking potential: great. Non-stick coated surface and clunky profile: Less great. (Alexa did give it a try but donated hers to a swap shop after a month.) So when I dropped in on the New York launch party for the Vermicular Musui-Kamado, an uncommonly good-looking induction-powered, cast-iron multi-cooker from Japan, I signed up to give it a try.

More on the Vermicular: Developed by brothers Kuni and Tomo Hijikata—the heirs to the Aichi Dobby foundry founded by their grandfather in 1836—the 3.9-quart Vermicular Musui pot took three years to develop and capitalizes on the company’s cast iron mastery. The secret to its success? The precision seal, which allows cooks to sear, steam-roast, braise, and even use sous-vide techniques. When it was first introduced in Japan, it was an instant hit; the company soon had a six-month waiting list.

More recently, the company introduced the Kamado induction heating base, with precision temperature control. The Vermicular Musui-Kamado is available in the US, for the not insignificant price of $670, via the company’s own website and also via the b8ta site. (A word to the wise: The company notes that “Amazon in not an official retailer for the US market. What you’re seeing on Amazon are all 100 V Japanese models sold by third-party retailers.”)

Over the past few months I’ve been experimenting with the Vermicular; my husband Josh and I have made roasted pork loin with root vegetables, pot au feu, and chili, not to mention multiple batches of perfectly cooked rice. I’ve become an evangelizer. There are three major pluses to Vermicular cooking: the ease of a one-pot meal; the steady, easily regulated temperature, which makes you seem like a better cook than you are; and the clever accessories (particularly the wooden trivet and the organic cotton oven mitts).

Photography by Remodelista.

Object of Desire The Vermicular MusuiKamado the Stylish MultiCooker from Japan A happy accident: The Vermicular (plus all its attendant parts) fits neatly into a deep drawer in my kitchen. The unit comes in a choice of Sea Salt, Matte Black, or Charcoal.
Above: A happy accident: The Vermicular (plus all its attendant parts) fits neatly into a deep drawer in my kitchen. The unit comes in a choice of Sea Salt, Matte Black, or Charcoal.
Object of Desire The Vermicular MusuiKamado the Stylish MultiCooker from Japan The Vermicular Musui is an enameled cast iron pot with a lid that&#8\2\17;s hand machined &#8\2\20;until it fits at a .0\1 mm accuracy,&#8\2\2\1; according to the company. &#8\2\20;This accuracy empowers &#8\2\16;waterless&#8\2\17; cooking—from which the Musui takes its name.&#8\2\2\1; Meanwhile, the Kamado induction unit offers precision temperature control and a sleek profile.
Above: The Vermicular Musui is an enameled cast iron pot with a lid that’s hand-machined “until it fits at a .01 mm accuracy,” according to the company. “This accuracy empowers ‘waterless’ cooking—from which the Musui takes its name.” Meanwhile, the Kamado induction unit offers precision temperature control and a sleek profile.
Object of Desire The Vermicular MusuiKamado the Stylish MultiCooker from Japan The ingredients for our modified version of the Vermicular cookbook&#8\2\17;s Steam Salmon Rice. We added a pinch of Himalayan rock salt and, at the very end, fresh okra.
Above: The ingredients for our modified version of the Vermicular cookbook’s Steam Salmon Rice. We added a pinch of Himalayan rock salt and, at the very end, fresh okra.

Here’s a simple recipe for salmon and rice adapted from the Vermicular cookbook, which features recipes suited to the device.

Steamed Salmon Rice

Cook time: 60 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 rice cups (540 ml) plain white rice, rinsed
  • 520 ml water
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 1 teaspoon usukuchi (light color) soy sauce
  • 2 (7 ounce total) salmon filets, skin on
  • 120g cod roe, divided into 5 to 6 pieces
  • 10 g shredded kombu
  • (Additional ingredients = 330 g total)
  • 100 g ikura (salmon roe)
Object of Desire The Vermicular MusuiKamado the Stylish MultiCooker from Japan Rinsing the rice before cooking is key. Measure out 3 cups (540 ml) of plain white rice and rinse using a mesh strainer before adding to the pot; then add the 5\20ml of water.
Above: Rinsing the rice before cooking is key. Measure out 3 cups (540 ml) of plain white rice and rinse using a mesh strainer before adding to the pot; then add the 520ml of water.
Object of Desire The Vermicular MusuiKamado the Stylish MultiCooker from Japan The final step: Place the salmon fillets on top of the uncooked rice, then add \2 tablespoons sake and \1 teaspoon soy sauce to the pot.
Above: The final step: Place the salmon fillets on top of the uncooked rice, then add 2 tablespoons sake and 1 teaspoon soy sauce to the pot.
Object of Desire The Vermicular MusuiKamado the Stylish MultiCooker from Japan Adjust settings on the Vermicular, then set it and forget it until cooking is finished (about 60 minutes).
Above: Adjust settings on the Vermicular, then set it and forget it until cooking is finished (about 60 minutes).
Object of Desire The Vermicular MusuiKamado the Stylish MultiCooker from Japan We added the okra in the final stages of cooking for a softly steamed but not overdone effect.
Above: We added the okra in the final stages of cooking for a softly steamed but not overdone effect.
Object of Desire The Vermicular MusuiKamado the Stylish MultiCooker from Japan The table set for lunch. The Classic Dinner Plates in gloss white are by Chico, CA based ceramicist Alex Marshall.
Above: The table set for lunch. The Classic Dinner Plates in gloss white are by Chico, CA-based ceramicist Alex Marshall.
Object of Desire The Vermicular MusuiKamado the Stylish MultiCooker from Japan The Vermicular enameled cast iron pot can go straight to the table using the wood Magnetic Trivet, which attaches to the base of the pot, creating an instant (and attractive) heat barrier.
Above: The Vermicular enameled cast iron pot can go straight to the table using the wood Magnetic Trivet, which attaches to the base of the pot, creating an instant (and attractive) heat barrier.
Object of Desire The Vermicular MusuiKamado the Stylish MultiCooker from Japan The joy of one pot cooking: a full lunch (starch, vegetable, and protein included) easily cooked and served in one go.
Above: The joy of one-pot cooking: a full lunch (starch, vegetable, and protein included) easily cooked and served in one go.

See more favorite appliances:

The Great Vacuum Debate: Dyson vs. Miele

Remodeling 101: The Viking vs. Wolf Range Debate

v5.0