How to Cook With a Bamboo Steamer

Written by g.k. bayne
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How to Cook With a Bamboo Steamer
Bamboo Steamer by KYares

Bamboo steamers often come as part of a wok set, but can be purchased separately. While the wok is the perfect base for a steamer, it can be placed over any pot large enough to hold the base above several inches of water. Bamboo steamers are wonderful for cooking vegetables, seafood and firm fish to near perfection.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Bamboo steamer
  • Wok or large pot

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  1. 1

    Wash the steamer with hot, soapy water and rinse thoroughly. This will remove any collected dust or other contaminants. Lay the racks with the lip side up to fill.

    How to Cook With a Bamboo Steamer
    Steamer Racks by KYares
  2. 2

    Prepare the vegetables, seafood or fish by cutting into sizes that will lie evenly on the steamer rack. For seafood or fish it is best to have only a single layer on each rack. The racks can have more than one layer for vegetables provided that the next steamer rack fits securely on top.

  3. 3

    Place several inches of water in the bottom of the wok or pan. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer.

  4. 4

    Stack the racks of the bamboo steamer and put the lid on top. Place the steamer racks over the water in the wok or pot.

  5. 5

    Steam the food until it is done. Most vegetables will take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes to be crisp tender. Fish and seafood can take anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness.

Tips and warnings

  • You can cook both the meat and the veggies at the same time by putting vegetables on the bottom tray and the fish or seafood on the top tray.
  • Many bamboo steamers come with dividers so that you can keep foods separate in the tray.
  • Bamboo steamers can often be found at thrift stores or flea markets for a fraction of the cost of buying a new one. Many times, the thrift store find has never been used.
  • Although most bamboo steamers come with two racks, additional racks can be purchased and added to the set.

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