It kind of looked like this, but with no flat parts whatsoever (pure convexity):
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Hi, it looks very much like a Korean Bul Ko Kee (Bulgogi) pan. You put it over a heat source in the middle of the table and have a platter of thinly sliced meats. Guests sit around it and put their own slices of meat on it with their chopsticks. The grooves let any fat drip down. The meat is then eaten with rice and a cabbage salad, or can be put on a noodle broth with veg in it.
Good find. I would rig up some sort of platter with a sterno tin and rack for the table, and preheat the BulKoKee on your stove. Mostly beef slices are used, although chicken and pork work fine, as does seafood...prawns, white fish. etc.
Thanks for the reply! I was thinking it was some kind of asian implement. I should note, though, the one that I saw at the store (whish I'd taken a picture!) does NOT look precisely like the one in the picture: it was completely smooth (no grooves) and completely convex (domed) with only a very small (1/8th - 1/4 inch) barrier edge. I think if you were going to cook very fatty meat, it would be an extremely messy enterprise! My other idea was that it could be used to make some sort of thin pancake of some sort...
Ahhhh, a smooth top ... I have a similar device for making crepes. Make you batter in a big bowl, dip the dome into the batter. A thin layer of batter adheres and you put on the burner until the crepe is done. Although not necessary, you can flip the crepe to brown on both sides. A bit time consuming but each crepe turns out the same size and thickness.
Something like this? http://www.pastrychef.com/FRENCH-CREPE-WRAPS-PAN_p_1226.html
That's almost it! It's missing the small lip of the cast iron version I saw, but it's close enough that I'd wager it's the same thing.
pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
Yes, I'm guessing flat breads as well. Possibly naan or a middle eastern type. Interesting, as I hit antique stores all the time looking for old gear.
Well, there are a couple waiting for you at Value Village in Silver Spring, MD. $6 apiece.