December 2021 Challenge: STEAMED (technique)

Joined Dec 18, 2010

A quick review of the past challenges show a great variety of challenges in several genres: ingredients, locations, techniques, tools, and probably others that I fail to mention. But one seems to have never yet been put on the table – cooking with steam (vapor).

So, I throw down the gauntlet... let's cook with steam this month.

The rules:
  • The challenge begins on the 1st of every month. The last entry must be made by the last day of the month.
  • You may post multiple entries.
  • All entries must be cooked during the month of the challenge.
  • If you use a documented recipe, please cite your source.
  • Entries should include the name of your dish and a picture of the final product. Sharing personal recipes and pictures of the process are not mandatory but extremely helpful.
  • The winner is chosen by the person who posted the challenge and is announced after the last day of submissions. The decision is final and falls entirely at the discretion of the challenger.
  • Submitting an entry makes you eligible to win. If you do not wish to be considered for the win you may still participate in the challenge, but make your wishes known to the challenger.
  • The winner’s bounty includes praise, virtual high-fives, and the responsibility of posting the next month’s challenge. That entails choosing a theme, posting a Challenge thread that includes the guidelines, checking in on the submissions regularly during the month, and promptly choosing a winner at the end of the challenge.
For reference (and with many thanks to teamfat teamfat for maintaining this list):

Good luck folks... let's have fun cooking!
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Joined Jan 8, 2010
This should be fun
I have a bamboo steamer and I hardly ever use it.
Time to put my thinking cap on ;)
Joined Nov 5, 2007
This could be interesting. I am not too familiar with the technique, this challenge could be a real challenge for me. First thing that pops into my mind is Chinese steamed dumplings. Time to do some web searches.

Joined Dec 18, 2010
Steamed dumplings would be fantastic. I’ll even give you a hint… the frozen ones at Trader Joe’s are rather yummy. :)
Joined Jun 7, 2021
Boston Brown Bread, steamed English puddings, steamed veggies, steamed salmon/trout, steamed rice and sauce, steamed mussels/clams/squid/lobster/crab... There are so many possibilities besides steamed Chinese dumplings. Let's really explore this cooking method. One question: pressure cookers cook with steam, and increased pressure. So is pressure cooking with little liquid valid for this challenge?

Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
Joined Dec 18, 2010
Okay, Chief… you’re starting to get me really excited. I love Asian dumplings… but brown bread. I love that stuff. Childhood memories. My wife laughs at it… calls it “bread in a can” in the most annoyingly dismissive tone. And how about that steamed pudding????

Yes, I believe pressure cookers qualify; it’s just water vapor at a higher temperature!


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
Costco had their turkey $10 off on Black Friday, so that worked out to under 50 cents/lb. I bought one.

These tamales are based on that turkey, using the meat, the stock and the rendered fat along the way. Made masa in the food processor using masa harina, turkey stock, turkey fat and seasoning. Can't find the pix for this step on my phone for some reason.

Dry roast some onion and garlic in a non stick pan

Chop the onion and garlic. I used the food processor with a little masa residue. In the dry roast skillet add some turkey fat some cumin and coriander and the chopped aromatics.

After a bit add some turkey stock boiled with ground chile powder (California, New Mexico, Pasilla) and a can of crushed tomatoes season with some sugar salt and whatever else fits your fancy.
Roll tamales. No pix I was wearing gloves and had messy hands.

I'm steaming these in a pasta insert over an inch and a half of water or so.


And some more in the steamer basket in my pressure cooker.

Steaming away.

The pressure cooker batch finishes first of course.
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Joined Nov 5, 2007
Nice! About three am at work I stopped and got some Del Taco tamales, was thinking I might try making some myself. And while I have never made them before, chances are they will taste better than the Del Taco ones.

Joined Dec 18, 2010
What is this steamed brown bread?

As for British steamed puds. I can certainly do those. And that includes savoury as well as sweet. puddings, :)
Ah, yes… nomenclature issues. When I was young growing up in New England, the term “brown bread” meant two things: steamed molasses-based bread in a can (especially see the B&M in a can; I’ve never met anyone who made it from scratch) as well as any whole wheat bread.

Steamed brown bread:

… but please educate us on savory British steamed puddings as that is unfamiliar to me.
Joined May 28, 2015
… but please educate us on savory British steamed puddings as that is unfamiliar to me.

Oh - you may have heard of the famous steak & kidney pudding. Its basically beef and kidneys in gravy encased in suet pastry. Its cooked in a pudding basin which is then covered with greaseproof paper or foil and tied around with string. This is then placed in a steamer and cooked for approximately an hour and a half depending in size:


The finished pudding:

Joined Dec 18, 2010
... and speaking of tamales... did you folks see the morning news: Jack is buying Del Taco. Interestingly, the business news outlets refer to Del Taco as a "competitor" to Jack In The Box. I never thought that to be the case.... totally different. My first real job was with Jack; I owe him for a lot. But Jack of today must be the wayward son of Jack The Clown that I worked for since he seems to have lost his way.
Joined Jun 7, 2021
Har Gow DimSum (Steamed shrimp dumplings

I'm not going to lie. This was a lot of work for me. I was originally going to use wonton
skins to make my Har Gow, but the grocery stores were out. I had to make my own dumpling skins. Now these aren't as pretty , with the uniform folds, and elegant shape. The texture came out great, and the filling is righteous.

The skin recipe is super easy.
2 cups flour
1/4 cup boiling water
Mix water with flour and knead until the dough comes together. Form a ball and dived into eight pieces. Roll out each section into a 1 inch tube, then cut into 1/2 inch rounds. P;ace in a lightly greased bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 45 minutes.

1/2 cup finely mince ten scallops,
12 raw, shelled shrimp, finely minced
5 oz. can of water chestnuts chopped into a into a fine dice.
3/tbs. minced green onion
2 cloves garlic. minced
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 tbs. sugar
1 tbs. corn starch
2 tbs. lite soy sauce
Combine ingredients into a mixing bowl, and stir to evenly combine.

Take each dough ball and roll into a ball. Flatten on a floured work surface, and roll into a thin, 2 1/2 inch round. Wet edges of the dough disk. Place a tbs. of filling onto the middle of the dough disk. Fold in half, capturing the filling inside. Pinch edges together. Repeat until all dough is used up. Place in parchment lined steamer, with holes poked into the parchment paper to let the steam through. Bring water in the bottom of the steamer pan to a rapid boil. Put the steamer insert, filled with dumplings onto the steamer pot. Cover and steam for 6 minutes. serve with simple chili oil dipping sauce, or Hoisin Sauce, and steamed rice.

Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Joined Oct 9, 2008
... When I was young growing up in New England, the term “brown bread” meant two things: steamed molasses-based bread in a can (especially see the B&M in a can; I’ve never met anyone who made it from scratch) as well as any whole wheat bread.
I've made it from scratch. It tastes pretty much exactly the same as it did at any halfway-decent place that had it as part of the standard clambake-or-whatever-New-England-whatsit meal (most of those places are closed now, but there used to be a lot of them in the Boston area). The only real question is whether you put raisins in it or not. I suggest that sometime you actually make the stuff, just once. You'll never do it again, because why would you? Kind of like making old-fashioned English white sauce (aka cooked wallpaper paste), or old-New-England-style baked seafood (overcooked, with huge quantities of butter and essentially no other seasonings or herbs whatsoever).
Joined Nov 5, 2007
Okay, so Monday and Tuesday are my nights off. Did steamed eggs with pork yesterday, have some pork belly steaming away at the moment, about an hour or so left to go, for my next post.

The Players


Eggs, some pork shoulder steak, bok choy for a bit of green.

The Process

First off, need half a pound a pound of ground pork.


Dice it, then start wailing away with the cleaver! Good therapy.

This is really a low effort dish, not much that you have to actually do. Once the pork is chopped finely enough, it gets mixed with some soy sauce and shoaxing wine. Into the bottom of the dish, let it sit and marinate for about half an hour. Then the eggs are cracked into a bowl, scrambled, a little salt and pepper and poured on top of the pork.

And the bok choy was washed and cut up.


Then the eggs go into the steaming setup I constructed. I'll show pictures of it in the pork belly post. Two little ramekins in the bottom of a rectangular pan, the dish with the eggs sits on top above the boiling water.

Steamed the eggs about 45 minutes. The bok choy was done in a separate pot with the expandable metal fan steaming insert you all know, I imagine.

The Product

Kind of a long time to wait for some eggs. But wow!


Picture is a bit fuzzy, but it is quite clear these are VERY tasty! The eggs are soft, silky, creamy, just a delight on the tongue. Kind of like a sausage omelet but completely different. And with some soy sauce and the hot chili oil on the bok choy, a nice complement to the eggs. A very good meal!

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