Steaming is a quick way to cook, without the need for oil and it keeps food moist and flavoursome.
Built in steamers are becoming popular in domestic kitchens, in some cases replacing microwave ovens. But you don’t need to spend a lot of money to be able to steam food at home. A bamboo steamer ($20-$30 from Asian grocery stores) that fits snugly just inside a wok or large saucepan is all you need, and you can even stack 2 or 3 steamers on top of each other to cater for a crowd. Fill the wok or saucepan with enough water to come just below the base of the steamer once it starts simmering, the simmering liquid should not touch the steamer.
Tips for Successful Steaming:
* adapted from Steaming by Brigid Treloar (Lansdowne) RRP $9.95
Steaming time is dictated more by the thickness of the fish than its weight, and steaming cooks surprisingly quickly, so check at the minimum cooking time, then cook a little longer if necessary. Insert a fork into the thickest part of the fish, if it’s opaque throughout and flakes easily, it's cooked; and remember that sashimi-grade seafood can be served rare in the centre. If the seafood is stuffed, wrapped, or cooked in a two-level steamer, allow extra cooking time and rotate the steamers halfway through for even cooking. Cooking time can be shortened if the food is cut into small pieces, make sure the pieces are roughly the same size for even cooking. Time cooking from the moment the food is placed in the steamer over already simmering water and covered.
As a rough guide:
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