Common Questions About Dim Sum Steamers
What are the benefits of using bamboo steamers?
Bamboo steamers cook food more gently than boiling and poaching and do not negatively impact the food's vitamins and minerals. These steamers maintain a dish's color and shape better than many other cooking methods. Cooking with a bamboo steamer is also typically healthier than other cooking methods, especially if you are cooking food that has a high fat content. When steamed in a bamboo steamer, the oils from fatty foods will drip into the boiling water, which will in turn create a healthier, less fatty meal. Finally, because of the extremely high temperature at which a steamer cooks food, the cook time for your meals will be greatly reduced. We recommend that you check on your food often to make sure that it isn't overcooking.
How do I use a bamboo steamer or dumpling steamer?
Traditionally used to steam dumplings, fish, and vegetables, dim sum steamers and bamboo steamers are relatively straightforward. Before food is placed in the steamer, the bamboo should be lined to aid in quick cleanup and prevent the food's flavor from being absorbed. Parchment paper, cheese cloth, cabbage and banana leaves, lettuce, and corn husks all work well for liners. After adding food to the bamboo steamer, you should place it on properly sized cookware. The water level in the cookware should be low enough to avoid touching the food. The steamer's lattice-like structure then enables steam to pass through and cook the food.
What materials are available for dim sum steamers?
Bamboo is the most common and traditional option because it absorbs some of the moisture from water vapor and prevents it from dripping into the food. These bamboo steamers require a liner to eliminate flavor transfer between products. Chinese steamers made of polypropylene are lightweight and may be safe in the dishwasher. Often coming in a set that includes a colander, stainless steel Chinese steamers sometimes help the water heat more quickly and trap steam more efficiently.
What special features are offered on dim sum steamers?
Some dim sum steamers may be break resistant, and several models are dishwasher safe. When viewing these products, be sure to look at the product description to find out if the product that you are looking at has one of these features.
What foods are usually cooked with bamboo steamers?
Bamboo steamers are extremely popular with those looking to steam vegetables, but Chinese steamers are also great at steaming foods such as fish and chicken. If you're looking to enhance the flavor of the food that you are steaming, you can change the liquid that you are steaming it in. Instead, try steaming with beer, wine, or broth to add a different flavor to your meals.