Steamer Question

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by kyheirloomer, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    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?
     
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    LIne it. Even squares of parchment paper. Things love to stick to it and it's a pain to clean.

    Phil
     
  3. amazingrace

    amazingrace

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    As phatch pointed out, lining makes cleaning easier. Even if instructions were included, they'd probably be in Chinese anyway. :look:
     
  4. french fries

    french fries

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    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!
     
  5. suzanne

    suzanne

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    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. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    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:
     
  7. dc sunshine

    dc sunshine

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    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.
     
  8. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  9. french fries

    french fries

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    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...
     
  10. cheftoddmohr

    cheftoddmohr

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    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.
     
  11. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    quoted for truth.
     
  12. suzanne

    suzanne

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    I love the idea of using carrot slices under small items. Thanks, French Fries!
     
  13. french fries

    french fries

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    You betcha!
     
  14. ed buchanan

    ed buchanan

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    Try spraying with pam or vege spray it works,
     
  15. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I can do that with my stainless steel one. On bamboo, the dumplings still stick with just the oil spray.
     
  16. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    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.
     
  17. dc sunshine

    dc sunshine

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    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?
     
  18. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    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.
     
  19. dc sunshine

    dc sunshine

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    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.