Steam cooking . What is it? How to do it? Benefits of this cooking technique.
If you are a master of cooking, perfect. But if you are just starting out in this cooking, get ready, because you just found your ace up your sleeve. Steam cooking will be your ally.
Spoiler alert, food does not burn . Never. Another thing will be to master the cooking time so that everything is as you like. But burning does not burn.
And don’t think about those discolored foods, the typical lackluster planter . Because I’m also going to give you some tricks, so that each bite is tasty, easy to make and supernutritive. Do you sign up to cook steamer style yummy?
Shall we start?
Steam cooking is one of the most basic cooking techniques . We take advantage of the steam generated by a hot liquid, to cook what you have in the container.
A small sauna food bath. Of course, with controlled temperature, in fact the steam does not exceed 100º C, so the food conserves all its nutrients. And since your meats , vegetables , fruits or fish never touch the liquid, its flavor is not diluted or lost.
How to make sure food never touches liquid
- In a pot, the liquid (which can be water, but below I will tell you some tricks), place a suspended strainer (that does not touch the liquid) and the lid of the container.
- Make sure it closes as well as possible, to prevent steam from escaping. And you put it on medium-high heat. The duration of cooking will vary depending on the food and the amount you have.
- There are also baskets, usually stainless steel, with perforations and legs. They adapt to the different widths of the pots and are easy to clean. The important thing is that it has holes, like the strainer, for the steam to penetrate.
- There are also bamboo baskets, such as dim sum baskets, that you can buy practically in any oriental store or mini-market, even on large stores.
Silicone Steamer Utensils
- Other gadgets that can help you are silicone containers, some kitchen robots also have the option of steaming and electric or manual steamers.
- They all work the same way. A closed container, a hot liquid that evaporates and slowly cooks the food. Nope !, that slowly cook does not mean you take too long to get ready .
- Conversely, one of the advantages of steaming is that your food can be ready almost immediately. Look, another advantage.
- It is one of the cheapest techniques. You just need water and a closed container.
- And since steam is the one who cooks food, it is not necessary to add oils or anything. If you are taking care of the calories you consume or simply do not want to add fat to your meals, this is your technique. Food is lighter.
- Since the food is not in contact with a liquid, neither its flavor is diluted or transformed. Yes, everything is much tastier . And it is digested better, because with the vapor the cellular structures of food are softened.
- In a container, you have your food ready. If you don’t like cleaning pots, this is your technique. By the way, neither does the food stick or burn. So, scrubbing a lot, for another day.
- Food is no more bland, on the contrary, this technique enhances the natural flavor of food. Take advantage of those vegetables from the garden and that fresh fish you just bought to steam.
- Food stays firm, if you control the cooking time well.
- Colors are more powerful and vivid. So until they will be more showy on your plate. On some occasion I already told you that much of the antioxidant power of food was in its color and, if not lost, that! steamed, your food is more nutritious.
- Continuing with the topic of nutrients, we have already talked about other occasions when many get lost in the heat. However, steaming is where vitamin C, B2, B9, and carotenoids are best preserved.
- It is ideal for all kinds of vegetables. Although it is true that the large leaves, such as spinach and chard, not the most ideal. Still, then I’ll tell you a trick so you can also steam them.
How to master the technique of steaming . recommendations
- Always use fresh food . Take advantage that nothing will mask its flavor, to rediscover the full flavor of those vegetables from the garden. That if you do not have time, you also have to do it with frozen vegetables .
- The food does not stick or burn , but the only thing you will have to pay attention to is that there is always enough water to generate steam.
- That your container is tightly closed so that the steam does not disperse . This will save time and money. Don’t get excited and put the fire on high. With medium heat, you will also achieve good steam cooking.
- Cut the vegetable into equal pieces . That is, they have a very similar size. Otherwise some pieces will be too soft and others will remain crisp. Do not overload the basket or strainer with food, you need the steam to circulate and reach everyone.
- If you are going to cook several types of vegetables at the same time, remember to put first the ones that take the longest to make and then the ones that need the least cooking time.
- It is always better al dente . Of course, if you are not looking to make a puree, baby food or soup, it is better that your vegetables are al dente. Of course, if you are going to eat them in a while, it is better that you go through cold water to cut the cooking. If you leave them inside the pot, the process will continue.
What’s more, if you are steaming the base of other dishes, remember that you will continue to cook them, so it is better to remove them from the steam when they are still al dente.
What to steam
All those foods that are high in starch (potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn) win with steam.
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.
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 drizzle 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 or the sea bream , which also looks great. And if you also want to demonstrate your skills with sauces, salmon with papillote with hollandaise sauce is your recipe.
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