Steam Food is the best way to cook if you want something quick, healthy, and flavorful. This simple cooking method works for everything from fish to poultry, vegetables to dumplings, and it’s easy to master and good for your waistline.
Why You Need to Steam Food?
Aside from its convenience and speed, steam food is the gentlest way to cook vegetables, chicken, and seafood. This is because the food is never exposed to boiling water, which can deplete nutrients, change the shape, and alter the flavor. Steam food also eliminates the need for additional oil or fat, making it a healthy option for those looking to prepare their meals.
What You’ll Need
Before you can start you’ll need to buy a steamer. There are several different ones available, including:
- Collapsible metal steamers: a retro favourite, these steamers are great for cooking larger vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower. However, they are not recommended for chicken or fish.
- Metal insert steamers: a popular steamer, these are usually sold as part of a saucepan set. Here, the steamer fits snugly inside the saucepan and its flat bottom makes it ideal for cooking vegetables, poultry and seafood.
- Bamboo steamer: economical and available in a range of sizes, these stackable steamers are ideal for cooking several items at once. The bamboo also absorbs the steam and adds additional moisture to what’s being cooked. Food is not placed directly on the bamboo surface, but on greaseproof paper, a small plate or rack inside.
Things To Remember About Steam Food
The most important thing to remember when using best electric food steamer is that it should never come into contact with water. To ensure that the food is cooked to perfection, bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a low heat to prevent any from splashing up onto the food.
Make sure the lid on your steamer is securely fastened. Place a tea towel over the top of the steamer and then the lid on top if it’s loose.
How To Steam Vegetables
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Here’s a list of some of the most popular vegetables and their cooking times:
- Asparagus: 8-10 minutes
- Beans: 5-7 minutes
- Beetroot: 40-60 minutes
- Bok choy (stalks) : 6 minutes
- Bok choy (leaves) : 2 minutes
- Broccoli (florets) : 5 minutes
- Cauliflower (florets) : 5 minutes
- Carrots (sliced) : 4-5 minutes
- Peas: 4 minutes
- Spinach: 5 minutes
How To Steam Chicken
To steam a chicken breast, rub the chicken with salt, then place in a steamer basket and steam for 15-20 minutes or until it is cooked through.
How To Steam Fish
To steam a whole fish, make three slashes in the thickest part of the flesh on both sides with a sharp knife. Season the fish with salt and pepper, then place it on a plate that will fit inside your steamer. Steam a fish that weighs 275-350 g for 10-12 minutes. Flake the fish away from the bones at its thickest part with a fork to see if it’s done.
Allow for 8-10 minutes of cooking time for a fish fillet weighing 175-200 g. When the fish is finished, it will be opaque and begin to flake.
How To Get Extra Flavour Into Your Steam
It’s easy to infuse any food you steam with extra flavour by adding a few aromatic ingredients to the water. Here are a few of the best guide to add:
- Lemon and lime peel
- Sliced lemon and lime
- Dill sprigs
- Rosemary sprigs
- Sliced garlic
- Lemon grass
- Torn kaffir lime leaves
Add them to the cold water, bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and allow the flavours to infuse the ingredients as they cook.
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