You have been able to find bamboo steamers in the majority of Asian shops for years. More recently you can find them in many shops that sell kitchen equipment as they have become widely known as a healthy way of cooking some food.
They are handy to have in the kitchen, easy to clean and store and it is a healthy way to cook food and retain the vitamins and nutrients that are otherwise lost in some types of cooking methods.
It is also a fast way of cooking and therefore has the additional benefit of saving energy, something we are always trying to do these days with our environmental consciousness.
These steamers are extremely lightweight and come with separate baskets, usually around two or three, with a lid on top. To cook with them you can add your food to the baskets, and set the baskets on the top of a pan with a small amount of boiling water in it.
When you lift the baskets always make sure you use an oven glove or towel to protect yourself from the hot steam as it can burn.
There are many types of food and recipes you can cook in these bamboo steamers, including meat, fish, vegetables and rice.
Line the steamer basket with a loose layer of tin foil or place a small plate in the bottom. This is particularly important if you are cooking raw meat or fish to prevent the steamer from being ingrained with the raw food which would be hard to clean off and not very good for hygiene.
Ensure that the water does not boil away in the bottom of the pan. This wouldn’t be good for the saucepan or the bamboo steamers!
To clean your steamer after the cooking, wipe it over with a clean and slightly damp cloth. It is alright to wash the baskets in some light and soapy water followed by rinsing, but it is important that you do not completely soak them or fully immerse the baskets in the water. Ensure they are fully dry before storing them in the cupboard.
This is a high speed way to cook along with the benefit of the resulting food being very healthy.
As an example, it should only take approximately seven minutes to steam a piece of fish sized for one person, or around 10 minutes for a good size slice of a large fish such as salmon.
Steamers made from bamboo make excellent gifts because although they are popular they are still not common in the kitchen. If you know someone who likes to cook but hasn’t yet tried steaming food in bamboo containers, a set of bamboo baskets may turn out to be just what you are looking for in an unusual gift.
You could also be interested in Bamboo Recipes