Cooking low-fat healthy cuisine is a form of art that takes a lot of patience, perseverance and passion from a cook.
Is it that much difficult to choose nutritious foods that don’t have excess dietary fat in them then?
Rather the challenge lies in selecting the cooking method which provides low-fat meals without giving up the juicy, delicious flavor in them!
Steaming is simply one of those cooking techniques that preserve nutrients better than regular methods. Be it veggies, fish fillets or chicken breasts, you can prepare delicious meals without drying out the juicy bits while steaming!
The most popular tool that’s used to steam food in Asian culture is the traditional bamboo steamer. Let’s say you don’t have one in the kitchen right now and are in the mood of having some meaty dumplings with wafer-thin skin and juicy bits inside.
Would you deny yourself from such a treat?
Or find some alternatives that work as good or even better in some cases?
Since you are here, you know the answer to that already!
Why Bamboo Steamer Substitutes Can Be A Better Option?
The traditional stacking bamboo container that’s used for steaming is a cheap, effective way to seal all the good flavors inside a food.
But it’s not always the best way to go!
As good as the bamboo pots look and feel like, they take up a huge space in your kitchen counter just to be used for one particular task!
As the container is made with bamboo materials that tend to absorb odor quite easily. Ergo, you will be needing separate pots for meat, fish, vegetables etc. In addition, the poor build quality of these steamers makes it difficult to maintain hygiene properly.
Think you can try an alternative option that’s simpler and more suited to a modern lifestyle?
Ready or not, here we also includes some recipes based bamboo steamer substitutes you can try!
Bamboo Steamer Alternatives
Depending on what dish you want to cook, there are different options available to help expand your steamed food horizon!
Here are some of the ways you can try instead:
Electric Food Steamer
If you are searching for some alternatives to steam without the traditional bamboo container, an electric food steamer might be your best bet!
Some electric steamers give you the option to choose from multiple cooking operations like a slow cooker, rice cooker, sauté, yogurt maker etc.
The biggest advantage of this electric device is that it allows you to adjust the timer function according to your convenience. That means you can fill up the device with necessary ingredients prior to going to work and set the timer to start cooking 30 minutes before you enter home!
Want to build a homemade steamer that’s super effective, yet comes at little to no cost at all?
Cool! Let’s get started!
You will need 2 reusable aluminum pie this for this purpose.
To make the DIY device, take a fork in one hand and poke 15-16 holes in the base of both pie tins. Then, use a rolling pin to flatten the tins. Place the whole thing upside-down in a medium-sized pot with little water and place your veggies on top of it to get it steamed.
If you are looking for an inexpensive steamer basket alternative, a colander/strainer will be the perfect choice for you!
Using a colander is quite easy. All you have to do is to get a large pot, pour some water in it and bring it to boil. Then, place the colander on top of the pot of water and put the food in it to get steamed.
Yep! Even a good-old cooing rack will do the trick for you!
To use this rack as a steamer, get a large pot of hot water and place the cooling rack across the top. The spaces in between the lines of the cooling rack should not be larger than the food you are trying to cook. To get the best result, cover the ingredients with aluminum foil paper.
Plate And Foil Paper
This one is quite interesting, to be honest.
So, the idea is to get the hot vapor to reach the food ingredients, right?
To do that, we are going to use aluminum foil, a large pot and a slightly smaller plate that’s oven-safe.
First, use the foil papers to make large balls place them in the bottom of your pot. Then, add water inside the pot and place the plate on top of the aluminum balls carefully. As the final step, put your food ingredients on the plate and let it steam!
Table Top Steamer
A traditional tabletop steamer is also a great option, especially for steaming vegetables.
As the device collects a lot of condensation, we recommend lining the steamer greaseproof paper to protect it. While putting the vegetables in place, make sure they have some extra spaces in between the pieces.
Also, if you eliminate the extra moisture, it’s a good idea to cover the lid with a tea towel in order to collect and remove the excess water properly.
Splatter Screen And Bowl
Want to know how to steam without a steamer for foods that don’t require too much moisture to cook?
A splatter screen and a bowl are the perfect way to achieve just that!
Place the splatter guard on top of a pot and lay down the food ingredients on top of it. Then use a larger bowl to cover the whole thing up and let it steam to get the desired result.
Make Your Favorite Recipes Without Bamboo Steamer!
Love eating cakes, yet hate the time it takes to bake?
Steaming is the way to go for you then!
- Take a large pot, fill it up about 1/4th of its height with water and let it come to boil. If you are making cupcakes, then put some small ramekins inside the pot and place a big plat over them.
- Prepare the lid that goes on top of the pot by covering it with a cloth. The cloth will protect the cake from getting soaked by water while steaming.
- Place the lid on top of the large pot and wait for the cake to get steamed. Keep in mind, cupcakes will take a relatively short time and less water than the large cakes.
If the dumpling emoji on your WhatsApp has made you crave some yummy dumplings, then you are on the right site!
Instead of the Chinese steamer pot, we will be using a rice cooker for this purpose.
- Take some parchment/foil paper and place the dumpling/buns on top of each paper inside a lidded steamer basket.
- Fill the inner container of the rice cooker with a few inches of water and press the “Steam” button. If the steam button isn’t available, use the “cook” settings instead.
- Once the water has boiled inside, exchange the rice cooker lid with the steamer basket. Make sure to leave about an inch of space between each dumpling.
- Steam the buns/dumplings until they are fully puffed and ready to serve!
Momos are comfort foods that are popular among all people regardless of any age!
To prepare these amazingly simple snacks, we will be using a pressure cooker instead of a bamboo steamer basket.
- Pour water into the pressure cooker and let it come to boil.
- Take a greased steamer plate and arrange the momos on top of them while leaving some spaces in between.
- Place the plate in the pressure cooker and cover it with a lid. The flame should be medium-high at this point.
- Wait for 5-6 minutes to get the momos done. Once they are ready, use a tong to get the momos on the serving plate.
Things You Should Remember While Steaming
- Always remember to add the right amount of water. Too little or too much water might make your food become droopy or watery and won’t taste as good.
- If you prefer to use high temperature, then add more water into the pot to keep your steamer from boiling dry.
- Tempted to open the steamer and see what’s going on inside? DON’T! Opening the lid too frequently will cause the temperature to drop lower.
- If you need to see the cooking process, purchase glass lids that let you see inside.
- When you open the cover, make sure the hot steam stays away from your hands and face as that might cause burn injury.
Wrapping It Up
From so many brilliant alternatives in this article, which one was your favorite?
We loved all of them, to be honest!
While trying out different bamboo steamer substitutes, keep in mind that cooking time may vary a lot for each of these methods. So, you may need to adjust your recipe according to that requirement.
You know what this means, right?
No more excuses to skip healthy eating anymore!
Eat hearty, stay healthy and keep smiling until next time.