Steam cooking with or without steamer. What foods to steam; many useful tips and instructions for steaming in the microwave.
There steaming is a cooking technique that consists in cooking food avoiding direct contact between the liquid, therefore the water, and the food itself. Such a cooking technique has manyadvantages.
In this way the loss of minerals and vitamins will be minimized; the aromas remain unaltered. Furthermore, since this cooking does not require the use of seasonings, such as oil, for example, all preparations remain light and very digestible. Let's see in detail how does steam cooking.
How steaming works
Food for this type of cooking should be placed on a surface containing openings; underneath there is a pot with water: the quantity must not be less than 4-5 fingers, as there is a risk of total evaporation during cooking, but it must not be too much to avoid contact with the food during boiling .
Foods should be placed after the water has boiled: once everything is covered, a circulation of air and steam is created, thanks to which the food cooks. The temperature that is reached does not exceed 100 degrees. All the methods we have available forsteaming foodhave been described on the page: how to cook with steam.
What to steam
From leafy vegetables such as chard, endive and spinach, to more meaty vegetables such as radicchio. Steam cooking is also suitable for vegetables and tubers such as carrots, courgettes, potatoes, aubergines, peppers… etc.
- All vegetables can be steamed.
- All vegetables can be steamed.
- Any type of meat can be steamed.
- Fish is perfect for steaming.
- Crustaceans can also be steamed.
- Mussels and shellfish are suitable for steam cooking.
Basically, any food can be steamed! Better keep a few tricks in mind.
White meats lend themselves very well to this cooking technique, the important thing is that the slices or pieces are not thick.
Red meat can be steamed but large and very fatty pieces should be avoided as they need to be cooked at higher temperatures. Also in this case, fillets, tender meats or any specially sliced thinner cut are preferred.
Those looking for useful tips for steam cooking should know that it is possible to flavor the water underneath the food. Enrich the steaming water with aromatic herbs, spices or with vinegar, wine or lemon. Green light also to mint, parsley and other aromatic herbs and spices: the scents released by them will reach the food together with the steam that will cook and flavor them at the same time.
Steam cooking without steamer
For steam without steamer we can do our best with steam cooking in the microwave oven or with pots and a basket.
If you don't have a microwave, you can always buy a pot with a basket or a bamboo steamer. Actually, for steam cooking I do not recommend buying the bamboo basket and later I will explain why. If you are considering purchasing a pot with steamer basket, I invite you to read the article dedicated toPots for steaming.Meanwhile, let's see howsteam in the microwave.
Steaming in the microwave
Steaming in the microwave is very easy, you just need the right container. In this context, there are many microwave steamers available on the market and you don't have to spend a capital.
Among the various microwave steamers, I would like to point out one with an excellent quality / price ratio: the Kitchen Craft steamer. It costs € 8.89, is made up of three parts, is easy to use and can be washed in the dishwasher. For product photos and all the info, we recommend the Amazon page.
Its dimensions make it suitable even for smaller microwave ovens (it is about 14 cm high and has a diameter of 21 cm). For cooking, all you have to do is add a few cm of water to the base, fill the basket with the vegetables or fish to be cooked, cover with the lid and place in the microwave.
There steaming in the microwave it is very fast: the cooking times for potatoes are about 10 minutes at a power of 700 watts.
Before buying any microwave steamer, make sure the measurements are compatible with your oven!
Steam cooking in the bamboo basket
The tools that can be used for the steaming They are different; there are pots with particular baskets, then there are the electric steamers already divided into compartments so as to be able to cook more dishes at the same time; there are the aforementioned bowls for the steaming in the microwave. Among the tools suitable forsteam cookingwe cannot forget the great classic: the bamboo basket!
In summary, we can steam with:
- Bamboo basket
- Pot and basket
- Steam oven
- Microwave basket
- Electric steamer
Thebamboo basketit is very difficult to manage and, for this reason, I do not recommend buying it. Here are the things you need to know before buying onebamboo basket for steaming:
- Cannot be washed in the dishwasher.
- Cannot be washed with detergent.
- You will need to wash it immediately after each use.
- Bamboo tends to absorb odors, so it should be soaked in water and sodium bicarbonate after cooking fish, meats and some vegetables.
- Before storing it, it should be dried in a ventilated, dry place away from direct sunlight.
- It should be stored in a dry and moisture-free place.
- It often tends to deform.
It is true, thesteaming in the bamboo basketshe is very romantic, traditionalist, she does a lotLand of the Rising Sun... but it is full of hygienic problems that cannot be ignored.