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Learn to Use a Bamboo Steamer & Never Look Back

by • January 30, 2018

True, gentle steaming might not sound as exciting as a sizzling pan. It requires extra tools, extra patience, and can seem extra boring (no flashy sautés in oil or Maillard reaction). But quiet steaming actually condenses the flavors of ingredients, almost magically making foods taste even more like themselves.

Put the Sizzling Pan Aside: Why You Should Embrace Quieter Cooking Methods by Caroline Lange

While we might still be discovering the secrets of steaming, award-winning food journalist and cook Hsiao-Ching Chou explains in her new book, Chinese Soul Food, that Chinese chefs have long practiced the art.

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“The moist-heat cooking transforms yeasted doughs into airy buns, seafoods into intensified versions of themselves, meats into tender morsels of savoriness, and so on,” she writes.

Bamboo steamers are the most traditional Chinese style, and because they can be a little intimidating to use at first, Chou describes how to set one up:

Want to give it a try? Here are some of our favorite recipes to steam in bamboo:

Mushi-Gyoza (Steamed Gyoza) by ourlastsupper
Steamed Fish with Ginger & Scallions by Sara Jenkins
Shrimp Soup Dumplings by Kenny Lao
Momofuku's Pork Buns by Merrill Stubbs
Sake-Steamed Mandarin Fish by meganvt01
Vegetable Steamed Buns 素菜包 by Cindy

Do you use a bamboo steamer? What are your favorite recipes to cook with moist heat?

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