Steamer Ideas & Recipe Inspiration

Steamers are great fun, and steaming is a fantastic way to cook. It’s deceptively fast. It maintains much of the vibrancy and vitality of ingredients. It is one of the most healthful, and (as you’ll see) steaming is surprisingly adaptable. On a basic level, to steam food, you fill a base vessel with a bit of water or other liquid, bring that liquid to a simmer, place ingredients in steaming baskets and cover with lid. We use this steamer (pictured)

A list of things we’ve steamed:

  • dumplings
  • tamales (~4 can fit in the basket pictured)
  • eggs (steam for ~12 minutes in place of hard-boiling)
  • dim-sum
  • potatoes & sweet potatoes (so fast!)
  • broccoli, romanesco or cauliflower
  • asparagus, carrots, snap peas
  • tofu 

Stacking baskets: One basket can often do the job, but, if needed, we’ve stacked up to three baskets Arrange your slowest cooking ingredients in the bottom basket, working up to the quickest. Another time saver is to get your densest, slowest cooking ingredients started in in the bottom tray, while you prep the quicker cooking ingredients for the mid and top baskets. Place the lid on whatever basket is on top at the time.

Steaming/Cooking Liquid: Water is used to create steam most often, but there are many other options; chili broth, herbal broth, tea, coconut curry, miso soup, etc. Create a broth or curry in the ceramic base (of this steamer), and steam additional ingredients in the baskets while the broth or curry is simmering. One pot meal.

Line your steamer basket: For quick cleanup and to keep your steamer fresh, line your baskets prior to loading them with something like parchment paper puncture with some holes, or large lettuce lettuce or cabbage leaves. Something to create a porous barrier.

More info: steaming beautiful vegetables (from 2013)

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