Steamer Question

6,367
128
Joined Feb 1, 2007
I'd always been taught to line a steamer with some sort of leaves: cabbage, lettuce, whatever.

Just bought two large bamboo steamers, and there was nothing in the instructions about lining them.

Anyone care to comment?
 

phatch

Moderator
Staff member
8,901
701
Joined Mar 29, 2002
LIne it. Even squares of parchment paper. Things love to stick to it and it's a pain to clean.

Phil
 
929
18
Joined Jul 28, 2006
As phatch pointed out, lining makes cleaning easier. Even if instructions were included, they'd probably be in Chinese anyway. :look:
 
5,448
404
Joined Sep 5, 2008
I have a bamboo steamer, never lined it with anything. Then again I've never cooked anything sticky in it: only veggies: asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, etc etc.... so those never stuck to it and it was never a problem to wash it.

If I ever steam fish with it, I'll keep this tip in mind!
 
3,853
12
Joined May 26, 2001
I never thought of using parchment, maybe because my husband will eat anything green and leafy, even if it's been steamed to death. :lol: But sure, that makes sense, for the reasons Phil gives.

Then again, if I were steaming the food on a plate in the steamer, I wouldn't bother lining it as well.
 
6,367
128
Joined Feb 1, 2007
Thanks guys. Y'all just confirmed what I thought I knew. But it never hurts to double check.

AmazingGrace: No, they weren't in Chinese. But given the syntax they might as well have been. :lol:
 
2,753
16
Joined Feb 26, 2007
Lining it or using a plate (as in when you're doing a fish) has several benefits. As mentioned, easier to clean, stops food sticking, can add liquids, e.g. soy etc. But it also minimizes the bamboo taking on too much smell from what you've cooked in it for the next time.

I love translated instructions....ha.
 

phatch

Moderator
Staff member
8,901
701
Joined Mar 29, 2002
The notorious stickers are dumplings and buns. They need the release power of a leaf or parchment.

I finally picked up a 14 inch 2 tier stainless steamer at the Chinese market a couple of years back now. I love it and wouldn't go back to bamboo. Easy to clean, can hold enough dumplings to actually feed friends and family as well as do reasonably sized whole fish. Tougher to store but lots more function. For small batches, I have other steaming options already in the pot cupboard.
 
5,448
404
Joined Sep 5, 2008
Oh never even attempted those. Sounds delicious though! At one Thai restaurant we visit, they place them in the steamer over a slice of carrot. Usually when you take your dumpling, the slice of carrot stays stuck to the steamer - sometimes it comes along with it.

Just another idea...
 
124
12
Joined Apr 17, 2009
Don't block the steam, though. Either poke holes in the parchment, or make it smaller than the steamer.

Otherwise, the liner will heat and your item will cook from the bottom only.
 

phatch

Moderator
Staff member
8,901
701
Joined Mar 29, 2002
I can do that with my stainless steel one. On bamboo, the dumplings still stick with just the oil spray.
 
6,367
128
Joined Feb 1, 2007
Just thought I'd let everyone who offered help know that I just used the bamboo for the first time.

I have a dish I make called Crab Boats in Ginger Curry Sauce. Basically, crab-filled won tons, folded into squares. They get steamed, then floated in a sea of the sauce.

I set up the steamer in a wok, partially lined it with Savoy leaves, and lay the dumplings on the cabbage. Let 'em steam ten minutes. Everything worked perfectly.

So, again, thanks all.
 
2,753
16
Joined Feb 26, 2007
Glad it worked :) BTW did you eat the cabbge too ? Seems a waste if not...not judging, just saying. If you did, how did it taste?
 
6,367
128
Joined Feb 1, 2007
Didn't eat the cabbage, DC. I like my veggies to have a little tooth to them, and, obviously, that wouldn't be the case after steaming like that.

However, they did go into the compost pile, and will help grow new veggies.
 
2,753
16
Joined Feb 26, 2007
I'm with you there on a bit of crunch, drives my family nuts when I speak about it, so I just clam up and do it. Bunch of heathens :D They get it whether they like it or not. Not too many complaints....

Steaming is a beautiful way to cook many things.
 

Latest posts

Top Bottom