Oven-cooking was probably something my grandmother first learn in YWCA cooking classes in the 1930s. Chinese, Peranakan and Malay cooking didn’t (and still doesn’t) make use of the technology of the oven. Perhaps because of this early influence on grandmother’s cooking, which even pre-dates the nonya dishes learnt from her mother-in-law, we’ve always had a well-used oven in our home. It was only a few years ago, when chatting with a university friend from Hong Kong, that I realised many Chinese households don’t have ovens. My recent fetish with computerised electric rice cookers which include a cake function also made me realise that rice cookers may be the only way for oven-less Japanese households to bake cakes. My hypothesis is supported by the results of google-searching, which throws up very few rice cooker cake recipes/stories in English (except from gaijin in Japan), but quite a lot in Chinese.