Healthy steamed food recipes

Our great collection of steamed food recipes, plus types of steamers and expert how-tos on how to make your dishes delicious.

By The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Discover healthy, steamed food
Chinese Steamed Beef Patty
Photography By Jodi Pudge
Steaming is a fast and simple way to cook that helps retain nutrients and flavour. Steamed food cooks in a moist atmosphere and does not require additional fat for cooking.

Types of steamers:
Vegetable steamer
A collapsible basket made of perforated, interleaved panels that stands out of the water on three little legs and expands to fit inside sauce pots between 5 inches (12 cm) and 9 inches (23 cm) in diameter. A central stem can be used to lift out the steamer or removed to accommodate a whole cauliflower or artichokes.

• Pot steamers
If you are purchasing a new set of pots, a set with a steamer is a worthwhile investment. Or look for one with a perforated bottom and concentric ridges to fit over pots of various sizes.

• Chinese steaming pots
An alternative to a wok and bamboo steamer combo is a lightweight aluminum or stainless-steel set consisting of a water pot base and two or three stackable steaming trays with a domed lid. Unlike a flat lid, the domed style directs condensed water droplets down the side and prevents them from dripping into the food.

• Rice cookers and electric steamers
Convenient countertop electric steamers free up stove space, and some have multiple levels to cook an entire meal at once. Dual-purpose rice cooker steamers are a good investment. They take the guesswork out of cooking rice (by adjusting automatically to suit the type of rice and keeping it warm) and come with steamer baskets that sit neatly inside.

• Bamboo steaming trays and wok
Right at home on dim sum carts in Chinese restaurants, these inexpensive tray and lid steamers are available in various sizes that fit nicely into a wok. They can be fitted up to three tiers, but switching and rotating is required for even cooking. The wet bamboo adds an intoxicating aroma that is especially nice when lined with bamboo, banana or cabbage leaves.

Reseasoning your wok:

Because boiling water used in steaming strips the patina from the wok, you will need to reseason the wok. Here's how: Place wok over low heat until completely dry and rub generously with oil. Trays and lids are sold separately so you can create your own set.

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