Steaming is a cooking method that is achieved by placing food in a permeable container (either with small holes or a mesh screen) and placing it over boiling water. The steam from the boiling water passes through the container cooking the food.
Steaming food is great because it’s fast, gentile and is widely regarded as one of the healthiest cooking methods.
This is because steaming preserves water soluble vitamins (like vitamin C and B) better than other cooking methods like boiling or poaching. Resulting in food which is more nutrient-rich.
Steaming food also means you don’t need to add fats like oil or butter to your food.
You can steam, vegetables, meat, rice, dumplings and some desserts.
Types of steamers
Steamer basket/Lotus steamer – These steamers either fit ontop or inside a saucepan or pot. They are really economical and they tend to be really space-saving. They are usually made of stainless steel or plastic.
Microwave – These steamers are made of silicone or plastic. They consist of two parts, a bowl for the water and a steamer basket. To use then simply fill the bowl with hot water and place the steamer basket on top with the food you wish to steam and pop it in the microwave.
Electric steamers – This option eliminates the pan altogether. You simply fill it with water and turn it on! Some electric steamers can be programmed to turn off at certain times.
Bamboo steamers – Are circular and are designed to be stacked on top of each other, allowing you to cook multiple dishes at the same time. They have slotted bottoms and are usually lined with baking parchment.
Improvised steamer – If you don’t have a steamer you can use a metal colander, a sieve or anything that will allow steam to pass through.