How to make dim sum in a bamboo steamer

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How to make dim sum in a bamboo steamer
Steam your dim sum in the traditional way with bamboo. (User9637786_380/iStock/Getty Images)

Dim sum is often cooked in a traditional bamboo steamer, which helps to sustain the colour, flavour and texture of the delicate oriental dumplings. Steaming also preserves the food's nutritional value, because fewer vitamins and minerals are lost in the cooking process. Here's how to make delicious bamboo-steamed dim sum suffused with the subtle scent of the bamboo.

Things you need

  • Bamboo steamer
  • Wok or large pan
  • Dim sum, either homemade or packaged
  • Cabbage or lettuce leaves
  • Boiling water

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  1. 1

    Prepare homemade dim sum ahead of time according to the recipe. If you're using ready-made dim sum, have them ready to place in the steamer.

  2. 2

    Scrub the bamboo steamer thoroughly with soapy water, and steam it empty for 30 minutes if this is the first time you are using it.

  3. 3

    Put the lower section of the steamer in a wok or large pan so that it fits easily, with extra space around the edges. Pour a small amount of water into the pan or wok, not enough to touch the inside of the steamer.

  4. 4

    Line the interior of the bamboo steamer with cabbage or lettuce leaves so the dim sum won't stick to the bamboo.

  5. 5

    Make sure the water is boiling first, then place the dim sum in the bamboo steamer. Don't crowd the dim sum in the tray, but leave at least 2.5 cm (1 inch) between each one. Keep a teapot of simmering water ready so you can replenish the water if too much boils away.

  6. 6

    Steam the dim sum according to the recipe. If you are using pre-made dim sum, follow the directions on the packet.

  7. 7

    Serve the dim sum freshly steamed, direct from the basket.

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