Saturday, June 30, 2018

How to Use a Bamboo Steamer for Vegetables

Going to try out my new kitchen gadget and learn how to use a bamboo steamer for vegetables and other food.

FYI: Did you know you could use the bamboo steamer to store your onions and garlic. Apparently, due to the fact they allow air (steam) to flow in and out it’s the perfect place for onions and garlic. They stay cool and fresh until you are ready to use them.

I know a bamboo steamer is great for fish, chicken and dumplings, but today it’s all about the vegetables.

101 Cookbook States: Bamboo steamers are easy to come by, and relatively inexpensive. The one downside is they take up a good amount of storage space, not much more than a big pot, but still. The steamers are available in a range of diameters, and are made of interlocking trays intended for stacking on atop of the other. Placed above simmering water, the steam from the water rises through the trays and cooks the food. It's a simple premise that works astoundingly well. You can use three trays, but you can certainly go up or down a level.

A couple tips:

1. While steaming with water is most common try chicken broth or a vegetable broth.

2.  If you have a stackable bamboo steamer (I don’t 😢) arrange the longest cooking vegetables on the bottom and the quickest on the top. 
3. A wok is the preferred method for steaming because the bamboo steamer doesn’t sit in the water as it does with a skillet. Your steamer will last longer if it doesn’t sit in water.
4. Line your steamer with parchment paper or cabbage leaves. It makes cleaning your bamboo steamer much easier. 


A selection of vegetables. Serves 2 Total Time: 25 minutes 

I’m going to use fingerling potatoes, onions and peppers 
8-10 Fingerling potatoes, cleaned and cut in 1/8th inch slices. (I tried just cutting them in half, but it took longer than 10 minutes)
1 onion, quartered 
1 bell pepper, quartered and seeded
Olive oil, drizzle very little as most of it will end up in the water
Sea salt 


In your wok or skillet add 1”-1 1/2” water and put on med/high heat. 

In your bamboo steamer add the cabbage leaves or parchment paper. I’m going to use Boston Bibb lettuce. Place your vegetables in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

Place the bamboo steamer in your wok or skillet when the water is boiling. If you have more than one tray root vegetables take the longest, about 10 minutes. You would cook them for 3 minutes if you are steaming cauliflower or broccoli you’d add that tray and cook the remaining 7 minutes. Now if your lucky enough to have a 3rd tray vegetables like snap peas or asparagus would be added the last 3 minutes of cooking time. Yum Yum! 

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