How to steam. Recipes, tips and tricks

How to steam. Our best recipes and tips for cooking yummy.

When we talk about one of the easiest and most perfect cooking techniques to start cooking from scratch , we talk about steaming .

One of the ways to enjoy textures, flavor and above all, to cook in a simple, healthy and economical way , all are advantages .

Next we will tell you how to cook and what foods can be steamed. Surely you will be surprised with our best recipes and those tricks that we always give you so that everything turns out delicious.

All those foods that are high in starch (potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn) win with steam.

Foods that steam well


Instead of boiling or roasting, try steaming them. You can take advantage to add cinnamon, cardamom or some other spice to the water so that they are imbued with that aroma. With this technique, the fruits are mellow, tasty but firm.

The Gourmet touch? Add whiskey, cognac or brandy to the liquid so that these pears or apples absorb all the nuances of the drink.

Vegetables and vegetables

As you have already read, steamed vegetables retain their nutrients better and are tastier. You can eat them directly and, if you want, with a splash of extra virgin olive oil and a little salt and pepper, for example.

And so you would already have the perfect accompaniment for grilled meat or rice, couscous or quinoa . Or simply an egg in the pan and you already have your dinner ready or your food while you work from home.

Of course, these steamed vegetables can also be the basis for other preparations such as cakes, tarts, quiche, etc.

Fish and shellfish

Since in each country the fish have different names, I would never finish naming you all. But he does look for those meaty steaks. Even those that are baked quickly.

Steamed they will be firmer. And if you have a steamer or bamboo baskets, you can cook vegetables and fish in separate trays. Everything at the same time, without dirtying too much.

Right now I can think of many recipes, such as papillote salmon, a good option to make a whole dish without leaving the steamer.

The mussels steam are a classic table everywhere.

The cockles steam are another good idea even for beginners in this technique .

Or the sea ​​bass with vegetables , a luxury recipe with fish. A great discovery that I am asked to make at home regularly.

Dorada with vegetables in papillote, which also looks great .

And if you also want to demonstrate your skills with sauces, salmon with papillote with hollandaise sauce is your recipe .

Oriental cuisine has many recipes with steamed fish . What’s more, they typically steam meat and fish and wok vegetables .


Of course they won’t taste like steamed ribeye . The best steamed meats are those that contain little fat and still are very juicy. You can also marinate them before cooking so that the flavor penetrates even more when cooking with steam.

You can start steaming the meats to keep them juicy and smooth (what’s more, even in bone-in cuts, the piece is so moist and cooks so slowly that the meat will come off the bone easily) and then you can brown or Top it to the wok with a little garlic and vegetables or some sauce.

Aren’t you thinking that meatballs could steam well? Instead of frying them, steam them (perhaps using some white wine for a different touch) and then finish cooking them with the sauce. They will be much lighter.

Stuffed doughs

The dim sum are Chinese dumplings stuffed . You can buy the dough in any Asian product store or department store.

Also the sheets of rice pasta are ideal for steaming.

The buns and Asian bathrooms are rolls that are cooked to steam.

Tamales and sweats

Yes, they are steamed. So prepare your filling, wrap it in banana leaves or corn husk and steam it. In some Latin American countries, steam cooking is also called “sudado”. If you have a favorite recipe, share it and I will test it.

How to give more steam to your food by steaming

  • Salt , for when they are ready. Nothing to start cooking them with salt. Let the food be as natural as possible to preserve the best of each one.
  • The same with oil. The EVOO splash, when you serve it.
  • If you want to give your meals a more interesting twist, you can add some herbs to the water or liquid you are using. The steam will be flavored and will imbue that flavor to all your food. You can try bay leaf, thyme, oregano or rosemary, for example.
  • That same flavored liquid, then you can incorporate it into some sauce, cream, soup or stew.
  • Substitute water for fish, chicken or vegetable broth to give a different touch to your meals.
  • The fish cooked by steaming some white wine is luxurious.
  • As I mentioned in the case of fruits, a splash of some distillate or wine can give a different hue to recipes.

Tips and tricks for steaming yummy

  1. The potatoes are foods that take the longest to get ready, about 10 minutes. Cut them into medium / small and even pieces. Put them in the bowl before the water starts to boil. The rest of the food, when the liquid has reached the boiling point.
  2. You can wrap the fish in kitchen paper making a hole for the steam to enter, like the papillote for the oven. If they are from the fish that is easily crumbled or you have not yet caught the trick at the time, it is a good way to cook them and serve them without crumbling the meat. Also the papillote is a good idea if you want to avoid that the rest of the food is impregnated with its characteristic smell.
  3. Take note of the oven paper with holes to also use it as a base in the strainer, the bamboo baskets or the steamer in case you are too lazy to clean them later.
  4. It is important that there is always enough water for steam to be generated. If the container runs out of water, you may damage it.
  5. The oil is never in the liquid that generates the steam or on the food. The steam from the water you use will keep your food hydrated. The oil, if you want to use it, once it finishes cooking and as a dressing.
  6. If you don’t have the baskets or steamer, and you’re using a pot, make sure the lid doesn’t let steam out . Otherwise, you can use a little metallic paper as a cover. Of course, remember that although the outside of the paper will not be very hot, inside you will have steam at high temperature. When your food is ready.
  7. Avoid hurting yourself by letting steam escape from the side or making a small cut or perforation. Remember that every time you open the lid of the steamer, the steam escapes, so the temperature will drop. Be still for a little while, just watching the water so that your cooking is done faster.
  8. The vaporeas plastic or silicone also serve to microwaving . Some brands of silicone steamers are also suitable for the oven. Be careful with the plastic or silicone ones if you use them in your pot. If you don’t put enough water in it, after a while they may start to melt.
  9. The bamboo baskets are ideal for pasta and stuffed masses, such as dim sum. The wood will absorb some of the moisture caused by the steam and the condensation will not fall on the food. If you are stacking steaming dishes (for example with bamboo baskets or electric or manual steamers) play with the temperatures so that each tray cooks your food properly.
  10. More about bamboo baskets . For those closest to the water, use it for potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, or broccoli, cut into small pieces. In the one you place above, the beans or carrots can go and in the upper tray, the fish fillets, for example and that food you can have it ready in about 10 -15 minutes.

Types of steamers

  • Stackable manual steamers . They are a tower of different trays that serve you to make different foods at the same time. The one at the base is always the one that contains the water, so it has no perforations. All those you place on top will have a perforated base so that the steam reaches all the food. Obviously they have their lid.
  • The same concept is handled by electric steams . These, in addition, usually have an alarm that sounds when there is little water left in the base.
  • The robots kitchen also have the function steam cooking. But it’s not worth buying them just for that.
  • There are some oven models that have this function. They usually have a removable base that you can use to place the liquid that will generate the steam. In any case, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to get some delicious dishes.

Cooking times . Steamed food

Of course, depending on the amount of food and the size they have, their cooking time will vary. Still, with this table you will get an idea of ​​how long your food will be in.

Food Cooking time
Fresh peas 3 minutes
Fish fillets 3-4 minutes
Medium whole white fish 6-8 minutes
Broccoli, cauliflower, green beans: 8 to 10 min
Pumpkin, carrot, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, fennel: 10 minutes
Small potatoes 12 min
Whole white fish up to 900g 12 to 14 min
Pork or beef tenderloin 15 to 20 min
Suckling pig chunks 20 min
Salmon 25 min
Breast (chicken or turkey) 25 min
Whole trout 30 min
Rice 30 min
Whole artichokes 40 min

The trick of steamed spinach or Swiss chard

  • Don’t think I forgot to give you this trick. I have left it for the end because it deserves a separate mention.
  • As I have told you above, large leafy vegetables do not usually steam well, unless you cook them, dip them or wash them and, without drying them, put them in a pan or saucepan over medium heat.
  • In this way, you will “sweat” them with the steam that is generated and in about 5-7 minutes they will be ready. The ideal point is before they “pass out”, that is, when they begin to lose volume. There, you will remove from the fire.

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