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Full steam

Steaming is the healthiest way to cook food.

If you like cooking, trying new recipes and experimenting with flavors, learning about boiling and steaming it is a good thing. Now you can cook at full steam.

Raw food is full of nutrients, but is is not always possible to eat this way, so some of those nutrients are lost. Steaming is the healthiest way to cook food. If you like cooking, trying new recipes and experimenting with flavors, you better learn all about boiling and steaming so you can cook at full steam.

No matter if you cook with a bamboo basket, stainless steel, an electric steamer or a pressure cooker; everything will come out perfect with these tips, tricks and shortcuts.

Boiling and Steaming

Flavorful meat: Prepare the meat before steaming to avoid a dry and flavorless outcome. Marinate meat in olive oil with spices or aromatic herbsrosemary, sage, tarragon- or use a mix of spices of rub before cooking.

Food in its best looks: You don't need to turn food over when you steam so there is no risk of piercing, breaking or spoiling it and it will look its best on the platter. There is a bonus because steaming preserves color better than any other cooking method.

Fresh, fresh food: Essential, any food to be steamed should be fresh. Steaming does not mix or cover flavors as poaching and stewing do. Producing a delicious steamed dish happens as natural outcome of using top quality, fresh ingredients.

Heat destroys vitamins: Whichever cooking method you use, some of the A, B and C vitamins are lost, especially vitamin C.

Juicy steamed fish: Steaming is a very simple way to prepare delicious fish dishes. Steamed fish comes out excellent and it only needs a sauce to add flavor. Only be aware that it is best to steam the whole fish –trout, red mullet- or large pieces –tuna, salmon, cod- as small pieces easily come out dry.

Regular vegetables: To prepare steamed vegetables, choose those of a similar shape and weight or cut them in pieces of the same size. This way you are granted all will cook to the same point, at the same time.

Rice, couscous or quinoa to the steam: When cooking food that comes in tiny bits - such as rice, couscous or quinoa - cover the bottom grid with a cheesecloth, or place the food in a cheesecloth. This not only will prevent the bits from going through the grid, it will make removing the food much easier.

Steam several dishes at once: Save yourself some time in the kitchen and prepare several recipes -or one main course and side dishes- in one go. Place every food in a basket at a different level and everything will cook with the same steam. Put first - closer to the boiling water- the food that needs cooking for longer, and position the other basket in reverse order –more cooking time to less- and everything will be ready at the same time.

Steam to get lean: Make rolls with whit fish fillets and steam them like that. Serve them with a dash of hollandaise or a similar sauce. Scrumptious and a blessing for waistlines as the fish fillets are cooked without fat.

Vegetables to the steam: All vegetables are ideal for steaming, except those with large green leaves –spinach, chard, beet greens- because they loose color, flavor and texture.

A good steamer

Bamboo steamers are good to steam vegetables, fish and meat. Pile them one on top of the other over a pan or wok to cook several layers of food.

  • Remember the bamboo basket should fit the pan or food would not cook well. If it is larger, it may catch fire, if the bamboo steamer is smaller than the pan, it would get wet.
  • To keep your bamboo steamer in top condition, do not wash with water and soap, dab with a wet cloth and leave to dry.

Boiling or steaming