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Cooking in a steamer


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Our rice cooker conked out, so I bought a new one 最可爱的 sized for 2 people. Since it's too small for a steamer tray, and just for fun, I decided to buy a steamer. I was kind of tempted by some of the old fashioned wooden ones, but settled on this 很方便 one in the end. This morning I steamed up some store bought Chinese breakfast stuff to test it out. I'm wondering what else I could cook in it? I was thinking chicken and some vegetables could be pretty juicy and healthy. Anyone have any recommendations for things too cook in a steamer?




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I’d never steam meat, as I’d want the outside sealed on a higher heat. I like doing smaller bits of fish in the steamer, less risk of overcooking. Often use it to cook veg while rice boils underneath. 

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Steamed carrots (18 minutes), steamed zucchini (5 minutes) cut into medallions, when done add salt, pepper and basil and stir.  Serve immediately.


Meat, no.  When you cook meat with water you make soup.  If you don't eat the soup afterwards then what are you doing?  

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Here are a few of my favorites, as written up in earlier pages of this forum.








We are soon going to be in eggplant season and that was one I made real often. (At the bottom of the short list, just above.) Also, please look later down in that eggplant discussion for comments on my steaming setup. 




You can find other recipes for steamed dishes here, searching in this index by your favorite ingredients: https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/52430-alphabetical-index-of-food-articles/


I never tried a free-standing electric steamer such as you have. I had an old basic stovetop model and I also frequently used the steamer basket in my rice cooker. 

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I had forgotten about that, Amy. Yes it is a tasty dish. 


Here in the US, I use my steamer (sitting atop a saucepan of boiling water) to cook eggs in their shell. 6 minutes for soft boiled; 12 minutes for hard boiled. (Large chicken egg; add a minute for Extra Large size.) 


When visiting Sichuan or eating at a Sichuan restaurant in Kunming, I often had steamed pork ribs 蒸排骨。In Chengdu, I remember having them on one or another of the "food streets" near People's Park. They made them in bamboo steamer baskets. The dish violated all the usual principles of giving meat a proper Maillard crust that we value in the west. When served with an interesting sauce, they were still delicious.  


I tried making them at home, but never mastered the technique, never quite got the knack. Maybe I will try them again, now that I'm in the US and missing real Chinese food.  Panda Express does not cut it. 


Here's a recipe that looks good. Uses a black bean sauce, made with 豆豉。Straight forward: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLQc8udunmY

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have made a few things in the steamer. I haven't yet watched the video recipes, though it's on my list of things to do. What I've tried so far has just been following my wife's instructions (她当然用中文教我). All pretty good, so far.


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Thanks for the followup!


Looking very good! Food comes out tender and juicy when it was steamed. I especially like things like those greens in the right-most photo. 


And, I always listen to the wife or girlfriend's cooking instruction. Apart from learning solid skills, it keeps me out of the doghouse. 


Now is the time to be getting good eggplant. The long, slim, Asian kind. Don't forget about them. They work real well in the steamer. Plus, they cook fast. 

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