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Can I Steam instead of parboiling?

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Hi All,

If a recipe says to parboil something, can I just steam it instead? For instance, like roasted potatoes, a lot of recipes have the potatoes parboiled in water first before finishing them in an oven. Instead of doing that, is it ok to pop them in a steamer?

My rice cooker has a steamer function and its a lot faster and easier to use that instead of boiling water etc...

Thanks for reading!

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  1. I would think so; I don't see why not unless someone has a valid reason. But then, I just oven roast potatoes from their natural state; I've never parboiled or steamed them first.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ttoommyy

      Ditto. Steaming seems to be somewhat new to western cookbooks. My mother's, which are 50+ years old, have almost no steamed foods other than plum pudding and shellfish. I think steamer baskets/racks were unknown in the average kitchen at that time. In her TV shows, Julia Child does a lot of boiling of vegetables. I am surprised when I see current TV cooks boiling rather than steaming vegetables, unless it is to set the color of green veg. Steaming yields better flavor, is faster, and uses less water and heat than boiling.

    2. yes

      1. I have experimented with this a bit, and blanching vegetables in salted, boiling water and then shocking them in ice water to precook them yields a much different result than steaming does. They really are two different things. That said, do it how you want to do it - neither one is wrong!