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Apr 7, 2008 09:39 AM

Bamboo steamer recipes????

I have two and that I rarely use and while watching several episodes of Tony Bordaine visiting dim sum parlors I decided to put them to use. So now what????? A recent show of No Reservations in Hong Kong glimpsed an open steamer and revealed a saffron/yellow cake type item any idea of what it could have been??????? Thanks

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  1. Steamers aren't just for Asian anymore. I'll be steaming broccoli tonight. Steaming generally trumps boiling, IMO.

    1. It may have been Ma La Go, a yellowish steam egg cake with brown sugar. From it name it Ma La in Chinese refers to the Malay area in Southeast Asia. But that is a just what I was told. Maybe some else know better.

      But then again Hainanese Chicken is not available in Hainan China.

      1. Hi. I haven't tried the recipes linked in this Sunset article, but they may be of interest to you.

        1. Fish.

          Soak your steamer, line it with baking parchment and whack a couple of salmon steaks on it.. or some tuna. You can add aromatics to the water, garlic, shallotts, star anise.


          7 Replies
          1. re: purple goddess

            I couldn't agree more, purple goddess. Great way to prepare fish. Our favorite is sea bass (or similar - it's all good) flavored with a little mix of some soy sauce, fermented black beans and a bit of sherry, then steamed under a scattering of green onions and julienned ginger. So. Very. Good.

            I admit to never using parchment, but I'm maybe just that cheap. :-) I typically use lettuce leaves or cabbage leaves to line my soaked steamers. The leaf-lining is good for steaming dumplings as well.


            1. re: cayjohan

              I only use parchment for fish. Saves the bamboo retaining any nasty fish smells/flavours.

              Don't really use anything for my dumplings/shao mai.

              Imagine you'd need it for a cake, tho!

              1. re: purple goddess

                I have a steamer but have never used it because I wasn't sure how. I know I set it over a pot of boiling/steaming water but is it necessary to soak the steamer in water beforehand as mentioned above? do the aromatics go in the hot water below or on top of the food being steamed?

                1. re: LAcupcake

                  LACC, I always soak my steamer, as sometimes the bottom "lip" that juts out over the pot of water can become hot from the gas flames, and can actually burn.

                  I do dumplings of all kinds, fish, chicken.. but have never done a sweet dish or rice (I have a rice cooker, or just use the absorption method in a pot)

                  I usually marinate my chicken/fish in, say, terryaki and ginger, and also maybe add some aromatics to the water... star anise, some spring onion greens... pretty much whatever.

                  I have even added the peelings from the ginger to the water, and sometimes, some mandarin peels.

                  It really depends on what I am doing.

                  Have a red hot go with your steamer. They're fun!

            2. re: purple goddess

              I am new to the bamboo steamer world. How long should I plan for fish to cook in a steamer? I'm aware that thickness determines much, I like to plan my time efficiently. Also, veggies, like snow peas or carrots? can rice be done?

              1. re: CBear8480

                Steaming food in a steamer is trail and error learning process. Not only do you have to worry about the thickness, if it is a whole fish or fillet, and the type of fish (cooking time will depend on the type fish also).

                Vegetable like snow peas are rather quick a few minutes will do ( this depend on how many you are steaming at one time, if layer on top of each will require that you stir them up a like during the cooking process).

                As for steaming rice it very commonly done. You will fine that the rice will be softer and be high in volume (the grains of rice will puff up more). The only drawback is that will need to watch closely the first few time to catch it when it just done. Otherwise it can be mushy if too much water drip from lid. A bamboo lid will allow most of the water to pass thur but some will drop back down.

                1. re: yimster

                  When steaming rice, do you put the rice in a bowl in the bamboo steamer, or what? I've never done this in the bamboo thingy, so I have no idea how. How long does it take?

            3. Thai stuffed green bell peppers: stuff small peppers with a combo of ground pork and beef; chopped red onion, green onion, cilantro, ginger, garlic, chilies; splash of fish sauce. Do not over pack the mixture. Steam. Serve with a soy and fish sauce with chopped chives, chilies, and touch of honey.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                Similarly stuffed bitter gourd is even better--a dish I had (and then started making) in Canh Tho, Vietnam.

                  1. re: mirage

                    Yes, I use the same mixture. The Vietnamese use less chili and often all ground pork. For the bitter gourd, first slice in half, pull out the seeds and pith from the two long half-tubes (don't cut off the ends) with a table knife, stuff and steam. Slice in half-inch coins when ready. I love bitter gourd, but can't get it here in Colombia.

                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      Thank you! I like it, too. My husband, however, does not. So I eat it when he is away. I'll try your method next.