May 11, 2009

Let's Talk About Steaming

Among cooking methods I try to learn, steaming's been one of favorites for it's healthy and you save water and nutrition value of food, perfect. Though all the time I've never met a steamer. The steaming I tried to do seemed to work okay with veggies cut in big chunks, tablespoonful or two of olive oil and some water to evaporate. Tasty as food was, that steaming didn't really give me what I wanted. Veggies for instance would be more mushy as a result of the the water not evaporating as desired and I'd be left with some watery food. Not to mention having sprinkled my spices directly into water mistakingly beforehand which would result in almost bland veggies I'd spice up again afterwards. We don't like bland food... do we, Kim?

I got a metal steamer now (for 4 bucks!) - never owned or used it up until last summer when I noticed my then roommate did. Now that I have it, I can't wait to use it. Though I only know by intuition that you're supposed to add some water into the pot so it evaporates and steam cooks the food. So is that it? Doesn't it look much more complex than that!

I am craving for steamed broccoli like the one I had just recently... might as well go for it again. Flavorful goodie with no effort. Chop up some garlic. Squeeze some lemon and pour olive oil. Spice it up, there. Turkish yogurt too! Already drooling.

By the way, I thought I'd ask my foodie friends about the use of this steamer. I could use some inspiration, ideas, tips on all things steaming from you guys. Oh if anyone has both metal and bamboo steamer, I wonder if there is any difference in taste as well. Now that I think about it, I have more questions:

  • Dumplings on metal steamer?
  • Which veggies work better?
  • What else than veggies?
  • Use of olive oil, at all? Please?
  • What if I add some spices to the water for uhm... some spicy steam! No, the question is, when do the spices go in?
  • Any creative and easy to make sauce ideas to go with steamed veggies?
I go to bed craving for steamed broccoli now...


  1. AnonymousMay 11, 2009

    Congratulation on the new kitchen purchase - steamers are a wonderful thing to acquire.

    Dumpling's on a metal steamer, I'm thinking might stick.

    Spices to put in, I'd say at the beginning, but isn't half the fun, playing with your food =)

    I just got back from a lovely lunch so I am actually having trouble coming up with ideas, but will stop back when I do,

  2. AnonymousMay 11, 2009

    I agree. Dumplings will probably stick by themselves, but if you put a cabbage leaf or two on the steamer first, then put the dumplings on top, it should be fine.

    Also, only use about an inch of water in the bottom of the pot. The legs on the bottom of the steamer should hold the food just above the water so it steams instead of boils. You can always add a bit more water after some evaporates if you need it.

    Broccoli, cauliflower, sliced carrots, snow peas, sliced potato, green beans, those all work well in a steamer. And for sauces, I like to go with soy sauce, ginger and garlic or something creamy like a Hollandaise sauce.

    Ooh all this is making me hungry! It's almost dinner time here. Enjoy your new steamer!

  3. Mmmmm...Dumpings. I've always used bamboo steamers to do dumplings. you can also do steamed rice cakes, steamed buns. Chicken legs or breasts.

    As for sauces I've go for a garlic teriyaki sauce made with rice wine vinegar, soysauce, garlic, and a little brown sugar.

  4. I can't add much more to the suggestions already given (I'll have to use them myself!) I have a bamboo steamer and have never used the metal kind so I can't make a comparison. The bamboo steamer doesn't impart a taste that I can detect although the scent is quite nice as it is steaming. Other than veggies, steaming fish is easy and wonderfully tasty.

    I've never tried adding spices to the water; instead, I'd use slices of ginger or perhaps a citrus to give it some extra zing.

    Please let us know how your new steamer works for you!

  5. So funny you just got this thing! A friend made filipino putos for dessert after dinner this weekend, and he had no steamer basket to cook them in, so we had to do a bain marie in the oven, and it was a big fuss. Those baskets are great for dumplings, wontons and veggies for sure! You're going to have fun steaming it up.

  6. I think the bamboo steamer adds a little bit of a woodsy taste - but the problem with the bamboo steamers is they can also absorb flavors....

  7. I have one metal steamer which I use from time to time too. Most of the time, I use it to steam vegetables such as carrots or broccoli. The metal steamer is more convenient and easier to clean. I don't use it to steam anything made with bread dough, however. The steamer is positioned too close to the boiling water. If you put in too little water, the water evaporates too fast and you have to replenish the water half-way through. If you put too much water, it could also bubble over and cause the bottom of the bread to be soggy.

  8. I am in awe of how useful information you all provide me! I looove detailed feedback, reading each of your messages is great - I hope it is okay for you all that I dedicate a seperate post for them providing links of course :)

  9. I love the idea of steaming. But Indian cooking hardly calls for it.I do steam momos(dumplings). Thanx for visiting my space. Hope to see u more often Ozge.
    I had a friend from Turkey. Her name was Azra:)

  10. Hi, thanks for the comment :) The metal steamer looks cool...better than steaming in a microwave...Thanks for the idea.

  11. Smitha : how I miss momos! I actually had them in Himachal Pradesh. How do you cook them? I'd really love to learn from you!

    Gita : My pleasure! We need to get healthier...


You could feedmeback! I still appreciate it even if it's too spicy. Spice is good.

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