Asian skimmers act as quick draining devices for any type of boiled, steamed or marinated food. The function of skimmers is similar to colanders, but the long handle and wire design of skimmers allows cooks to pull foods directly from a pot rather than pour the water out. This technique is particularly beneficial when the stock water needs to be saved or can be reused. Skimmers are designed with a wide, shallow wire bowl attached to the end of a long handle. The basket-type design holds foods in while covering minimal surface area, thereby expelling all excess water as quickly as possible. Asian skimmers are available with a wide array of designs, including bird’s nest and shark fin. Bird’s nest skimmers are supported with tiered rings to hold their shape and feature a linked wiring to provide large, round holes. Shark fin skimmers feature a frame that pulls out in triangles from a center point for support, and is typically characterized by a very fine mesh to strain even the smallest of food items.
Asian skimmers can be a necessary addition to commercial Asian kitchens and an efficient asset to home kitchens. Their ability to quickly expel excess liquid equates to the perfectly cooked dish each time with minimal waste. Most are constructed with cool wooden handles to further enhance its ease of use and performance in the kitchen.