Newell International Industry Co., Ltd.

Newell International Industry Co., Ltd.

This Kitchen Tool Is Your Golden Ticket to Healthier, Faster Meals

This Kitchen Tool Is Your Golden Ticket to Healthier, Faster Meals

Last year, I bought a cheap bamboo steamer from a restaurant supply store on the Bowery. I needed one for a soup dumpling party I was hosting, and fully expected it to be the kind of throwaway purchase I'd use exactly once and then forget about, like the dozen Chinese soup spoons I also bought for $5. And although I never made soup dumplings again after that party (they were a real...labor of love) and have definitely lost at least six soup spoons, the bamboo steamer has since become one of my most-used kitchen tools. It's easy to clean, makes quick and healthy food, and can be used to cook a wide variety of ingredients. Plus, my meals always seems to get on the table 15 minutes faster. Here's how I use it.

The Setup

Bamboo steamers come in various sizes and tiers. At home, I have a 10" double-decker that comfortably fits enough food to make a veg-and-protein dinner for two. Our Test Kitchen has a couple that are closer to 30" across, but for the average kitchen, a 10" to 12" version should do nicely, not to mention store easier. The benefit of having a tiered basket is you can cook foods with different cook times at once (more on that in a bit). To get started, I fill a large, shallow sauté pan with an inch or so of water and bring it to a simmer. Once the water's ready, all I have to do is set my steamer directly in the pan, toss in my food, pop the basket lid on, and let the steam work its way through the slats. Our associate food editor and Actual Professional Cook Rick Martinez gently suggested this method may be causing me to slowly and unknowingly burn the bottom of my steamer basket, and suggests using a wok, skillet, or other vessel with sloped sides instead, which will allow the steamer to safely sit suspended above the water and not touch the bottom (teehee).

All the Vegetables

One of my favorite things to make for dinner after a less-than-virtuous weekend is a huge pile of steamed veggies with a miso-based sauce and a little brown rice. My rotation usually includes any mix of asparagus, snap peas, green beans, baby beets, peewee potatoes, broccoli or cauliflower, any squash, enoki mushrooms, and Japanese sweet potato. For perfectly cooked, never-mushy vegetables, arrange your heavier, slower-cooking veg on the bottom tier (that would be your beets, squash, potatoes, etc.) and get those steaming first. While those start cooking, prep more delicate veg like broccoli, asparagus, and mushrooms and arrange them in the second basket. Open the steamer lid and place the second basket on top of the bottom one, put the lid back on, and steam until veg are crisp-tender, about five minutes.

Fish, Chicken, and More

I'm a huge fan of doing chicken breasts and fish fillets in the steamer. Both cook up super-fast and don't require any extra oil. I'll line the inside of the basket with a round of parchment paper before placing my protein inside, which not only makes cleanup a breeze later, but it also prevents any unwanted smells from lingering. Another favorite quick dinner: firm or soft tofu steamed until warmed through, then drizzled with soy sauce and toasted sesame oil and topped with a handful of sliced scallions and sesame seeds.


Okay, so nothing beats a freshly steamed xiaolongbao bursting with molten, salty-fatty soup. But even a freezer bag of Trader Joe's dumplings feels like an Acceptable Adult Meal when done in the steamer. Again, a round of parchment paper is your friend here—no one wants to spend their evening scraping sticky dumpling skin pieces off that ish. Alternatively, you could use a more traditional bed of Napa cabbage leaves if you're feeling extra-fancy slash also happen to just have Napa cabbage lying around—just make sure to give 'em a spritz of nonstick cooking spray for extra insurance.

Up the Flavor

If you can't get down with water-cooked chicken breasts and squash, up the ante by infusing it with flavor during the cooking process. Try steaming in sake, wine, beer,dashi, or vegetable broth instead of water for a subtle flavor shift. Or add whole sprigs of herbs like cilantro, or thinly sliced scallions, ginger, and garlic directly to the steamer basket with the rest of your food. Experiment! Go crazy! The worst you'll end up with is boozy fish, and ain't nothing wrong with that.

Newell Bambu Products Co.,Ltd.engaged in manufacturing and exporting bamboo products for nearly 10 years. Our main products are bamboo skewer,stick,incense stick,chopstick,fruit pick,toothpick,bamboo matcha whisk and other whisk accessories,bamboo steamer,wooden pegs,wood coffee stirrer,wood tongue depressor and so on.There's a variety of sizes and types to meet customers' different demand.Nowadays, our market covers European and Asia countries such as America,Greece,Spain,Italy,France,India etc.

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