- Posted February 12, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Who taught you to love food?
Steaming involves cooking food using moist heat, usually water vapor (i. e. steam). A lot of foods may be cooked this way – vegetables, eggs, chicken, fish, meats, and other seafood. Because there’s no extra fat added in cooking food here, most healthy cooking dishes use this cooking method. The device used in steamed cooking is called a steamer, and may be made of bamboo or metal, depending on the recipe. This is different from baking, which uses dry heat. Unlike other techniques, overcooking may be prevented from steamed cooking and the nutrients are more preserved in the food being cooked.
Since food cooked using steamed cooking does not involve the addition of fat, steamed dishes are made more flavorful by the addition of a bit of salt, pepper, and some herbs. Rosemary and lemongrass are sometimes used to flavor chicken or fish.
Aside from fish and vegetables, dumplings may also be cooked using steamed cooking. Dumplings are dough balls filled with minced meat, vegetables, or sweets. For vegetarians, dumplings with a tofu or mushroom base are also available. Some dumplings may be cooked by frying, like pot stickers but some dumplings are made the traditional way cooking them on bamboo steamers. As there are some recipes that take some time if these dumplings are to be made from scratch, there are pre-packed frozen dumplings available at the local supermarket that may be cooked by steam.
As steamed cooking takes longer than other cooking techniques like frying, for the busy person, the ingredients may be pre-prepared ahead of time, then arranged in a steamer, then as the food cooks, they may go about their chores and then go back to the food when it’s done cooking. The key is to maximize time as the food cooks and then enjoy the healthy and delicious food after. Some also prefer steamed cooking to reheat leftovers as opposed to microwave reheating as the food is less dry this way. The flavors are retained and the sauce does not dry up as opposed to microwave reheating.
For healthier meal without the presence of fat, steaming may be an option for those who are watching their weight. The flavors remain within the food instead of being leached out into the sauce than evaporated. Although it takes a longer time than most cooking techniques, time can just be managed and maximized, especially for busy people who are on a diet and use this cooking technique.