We here at GeekTech have been known to enjoy a bowl of instant ramen on occasion, even post-college. When I'm feeling adventurous, I'll add frozen veggies and maybe even dried seaweed or other things one might legitimately find in ramen from an authentic Japanese ramen place. It's still not the same, but at least it lets me pretend that I'm cooking. When I'm feeling lazy... what could be easier than boiling water and cracking the noodles in?
What if you didn't have to stir the pot while it was cooking? That's what the Kuru-Kuru Nabe, or "Round-and-Round Pot", invented by a Japanese dentist, promises. Scalloped like the inside of a whirlpool hot tub, the pot directs the convection currents, which would rise and fall vertically in the pot, into horizontal motion as well, not only stirring the pot but causing food to cook faster and more evenly, thereby using less energy.
And not only does the whirlpool motion prevent food from sticking on the bottom of the pot, it also reduces foaming, making the pot less likely to boil over. (Maybe the irregular cell-like design on the bottom of the pot has something to do with that too?)
The inventor, Hideki Watanabe, is currently looking for investors to help him commercialize the pot. My guess is that, with its more fuel-efficient cooking, it will first see success in backpacking cookware. (REI, are you reading this? Can I buy one of these yet? Boiling pasta after a long day's hike always takes too long.) After that-- sous-vide cookers? Cafeteria soup tureens? And of course cookware for lazy college students.
This isn't the first self-stirring pot we've seen, but it's definitely the most sophisticated one. If you're the kind of person who can burn water, this pot may be more of a further encouragement to distraction than a help, but it's nice to see that the 21st Century still has something to say about one of humankind's oldest technologies.
Now if you'll excuse me, I think I need some lunch. There must be a packet of ramen around here somewhere...
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