I am wondering if anyone knows where I might buy some Japanese made blue carbon steel pans? I recently went to a restaurant supply store here in San Diego, which specializes in Asian cookware (Chef City, off of Clairmont Mesa Blvd). Where I spotted a carbon blue steel pan made by the Japanese company "SS", or pronounced as "esu esu" in Japanese.
I took a chance as the 26cm pan was only $20.00 and some change. It is a very nice pan, much lighter than comparable French pans, Matfers, de Buyer, but still has the heft that I am looking for. 26cm diameter, 2.3mm thickness, with riveted "V" shaped metal handle with about 1" high sides, so it's great for some sauteing or even a crepe pan in a pinch. And also much less expensive at well.
Here's the problem, Chef City's supplier for this pan has gone out of business, and I am having a tough time finding these pans in San Diego. I have tried to find them at the local Marukai Japanese grocery store, but they don't carry the frying pan. They do carry at 36cm wok and also a 24cm tempura pan (i bought both, really inexpensive for quality cookware). But it seems they can't get the frying pans either.
Here is a website in Japan which has some interesting details on a similar pan, and also a slightly different way to season, seems to be used in Asia a lot, much like how you would season a wok. Very high temperatures for a long time, then adding oil and burning it into the pan. I would suggest you type the website into the google search, and then hitting the "translate this page" option, unless you can read Japanese. Here is the site: copy and paste this in google search.
(note no dot after www) It should pop up as the first hit on the search.
Let me know what you think of these pans, I know that I really like them, as mine has already turned a nice black, and is almost as non-stick as non-stick, I like to call it stick resistant. Also the translation is very rough, and often very funny. Or if you have any suggestions for a different brand. Thanks in advance.