Hot ideas for steamed foods

Steaming is one of the healthiest cooking methods. Used for thousands of years in China, Japan, and Southeast Asia, today it is gaining worldwide popularity.

Steaming : great flavor, healthy meals
by Brigid Treloar
Singapore : Periplus Editions, c2008
We all want to provide tasty and healthy meals for our families, but few of us have the time. This book shows busy cooks how to keep the delicious and healthy meals coming without spending hours in the kitchen to prepare home-cooked dinners. An ancient Asian cooking technique, steaming fits in perfectly with contemporary eating styles. Quick and easy to prepare, steaming is a flavor-packed and nutritious alternative to cooking with fats. "Steaming" is a wonderful introduction to this classic Asian art of cooking. Each recipe includes step-by-step directions that anyone can follow, and provides information on how to use a variety of steaming equipment, including tips for creating your own steamer. With recipes for everything from appetizers to desserts, everyone is sure to find new family favorites for dinner!
Steamed food & cooking: deliciously light and healthy eating using a traditional yet versatile technique: 20 tantalizing recipes shown in more than 100 beautiful photographs
Kim Chung Lee, consultant editor.
London : Lorenz, 2007.
With practical advice on equipment, preparation and steaming techniques, easy-to-follow recipe instructions and beautiful colour photographs for every dish, this gorgeous little book will provide you with endless inspiration for all kinds of mouthwatering
New recipes from your rice cooker
Coleen and Bob Simmons.
Hayward, Calif. : Bristol Pub. Enterprises, c2004.
  1. Includes materials revised from The versatile rice cooker; San Leandro : Bristol Pub., 1992.
  2. Includes index.
Brigid Treloar.
Boston, Mass : Periplus Editions ; North Clarendon, VT : Distributed by Tuttle, 2000.
The step-by-step instructions show readers how to use a variety of steaming equipment to make mouth-watering appetizers, crisp and flavorful vegetables, wonderful meals with chicken, beef, pork, and seafood, and even fabulous desserts. 80 color photos.

What makes steaming so special? It is easy and healthy. Just boil water to create steam. The heat from the steam cooks the food. Steam gently envelops food with a cloud of even heat. This helps to retain the foods natural juices, vitamins, and minerals. It does not require the addition of fat.

Cooks experiment with different types of steamers. Stainless steel, plastic, and bamboo steamers can be purchased at most kitchen stores.  Roasting pans, double boilers, clay pots, or woks also work.

All sorts of foods may be cooked using a steaming method. From chili-chicken dumplings, sushi rice, Thai curry fish wrapped in banana leaves, mussels with garlic and lime butter to hot mocha raisin souffles or tropical chile fruits in paper packages--unusual foods to tempt us all. Or if you want simplier foods, how about corn on the cob and baby potatoes with lemon dill butter?

Wrappers for steaming

Inedible:  Banana leaves, pandanus leaves, bamboo leaves, lotus leaves, aluminum foil, parchment (baking) paper, oven bags.

Edible:  Rice paper wrappers, wonton wrappers, cabbage leaves, spinach leaves, grape leaves, bean curd sheets, seasoned tofu pouches, crepes, nori (seaweed).

A tantalizing dish to try is steamed shrimp stuffed with chili. Create a chili jam by mixing crushed garlic, shallots, peanut oil, red chilies, tamarind paste, brown sugar, fish sauce, and dried shrimp into a paste. Cut down the backs of the unshelled shrimp and remove the vein. Press the chili jam into the back cut. Place the stuffed shrimp in a steamer. Sprinkle with mirin and lime juice and cover. Make sure you do not overcook the shrimp or they will be tough.

Many steamers are large enough to combine foods. By steaming the noodles in the bottom of the steamer along with steaming the vegetables on top, foods are ready with minimal work. Expand your steaming experiences by trying to cook fish, meat, rice, or other combinations of foods.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff