The BELLA 7.4 Quart is our pick for the best food steamer because of its clean design that ensures no leakage as much as possible. The two steam baskets are easy to stack and the unit has an automatic shutoff feature for safety.
Our step-up pick is the Hamilton Beach 37530A and it also has two stacks of clear baskets for you to use. It is also compact but it has a digital touchpad, making it more expensive than the top pick we chose. So if you are a fan of digital controls rather than a dial mechanism, you can try this one instead.
The budget pick is the Oster 5-Quart CKSTSTMD5W and this one is also dial controlled, much like our top pick, but has a slimmer design so it is ideal for smaller spaces. It is also quite spacious like our step-up pick, but not as much as our top pick, so it might not be ideal for larger meals.
Food Steamers can be used to make delicious dumplings
- 1 A Little Background
- 2 How we Picked
- 3 Our Pick
- 4 Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
- 5 Step-up Pick
- 6 Budget Pick
- 7 Best Food Steamer with a Large Tray
- 8 Best Food Steamer with an LCD Control Panel
- 9 Best Food Steamer that is also a Rice Cooker
- 10 Best Food Steamer made of Bamboo
- 11 Best Food Steamer for Eggs
- 12 Best Food Steamer that is also a Pressure Cooker
- 13 Best Food Steamer for Hotdogs
- 14 The Competition
- 15 Other Frequently Asked Questions
- 16 Wrapping It Up
A Little Background
A food steamer is a kind of cooking appliance, usually in layers, that can steam food items like veggies and corn. It is found in either a home kitchen or a restaurant area. But why would you really need it? Well, for instance, steaming veggies, potatoes and the like, require a steamer. If you’re a person who likes to cook, you should definitely consider a steamer if ever you come across recipes that require steaming food items.
It has about 3 to 4 layers, and the cooking items can usually be made of clear cookware material that is durable. Each layer corresponds to a preferred food type. The steaming device works by compressing or locking the steam within each layer, so that each of the food items are cooked by steaming. The result is tasty and tender food, which can be needed in most recipes.
Steaming veggies is the usual use for it, but you can also use it for dimsum items like dumplings and siomai. Dimsum or Asian cuisine foods often use them because of the nature of their recipe and how they should be cooked, as compared to traditional stir-fry methods. These foods, therefore, are best served hot or warm to get the best out of their taste.
Chinese-style steaming is a popular way of cooking.
Restaurants and some Asian cuisine food chains often use this kind of product. Have you ever ordered a Chinese takeout before? They will usually cook their recipes in such a steamer. These foods can have different recipes and temperatures but the concept of cooking is relatively the same.
Therefore, if you are fond of Asian cuisine and don’t want to keep wasting money by ordering all the time from restaurants, you can make some steamed recipes at home with the recipe steamer.
Steaming recipes has some health benefits. For instance, it does not give you a lot of fat because there is no grease used, unlike when you fry or stir-fry your dumplings and the like. Also, steamed food is always hot when served so it reduces the chance of spoiling easily. Steamed ingredients can, therefore, help alleviate clogged noses and allergies because of the hotness or warmth of the item, much like when you sip soup or coffee / tea.
It can be an investment to buy a food steamer, but for business use, it is a must-have. Most of these steaming devices can be costly, so it is a great idea to know if you actually need one. Do you really want grease-free veggies?
Does your recipe require steamed veggies or Asian food in a steaming appliance? Will you be operating a restaurant or fast food chain, or even a small food stall or food cart? You have to take into consideration these factors before you go on ahead and buy yourself one.
If you don’t know what to cook in a steaming appliance, then you can consult many references, such as cookbooks, online cooking sites, a friend who works at an Asian themed restaurant or cart, or even your family members.
How we Picked
For the best food steamer, you need to look for the following:
Number of layers or tiers: the layers that can make up the steaming appliance can vary depending on your needs. For instance, the norm is usually 3 to 4 layers, and more layers technically mean that you can cook more recipes and save more time, but it will also add to the initial price. A steaming appliance may also be more space consuming if it has many layers vertically, so keep your headroom in consideration as well.
Materials used: you have to know the materials that are used into making the steaming appliance. For instance, it should be greatly heat resistant plastic or glass material, and should be free from leaks so that you know that your recipe will cook thoroughly as much as possible.
Capacity: the capacity refers to how much food you can fit in. This kind of criteria refers to the quarts of item – most will have 5 to 7 quarts on the average, usually depending on how many tiers or layers of item containers there are in the whole kitchen appliance.
Digital or traditional: it is still rare to find food steamers that are electronic powered, but they will mostly be associated with rice cookers in that case. However, there are also steaming appliances that come in the form of simple racks that are meant to be used traditionally on open fire or some fuel source, such as with traditional bamboo trays used for Asian cuisine, as well as unique egg steaming racks.
Timer options: like any cooking device, you also have to know if the steaming appliance has sufficient amount of timer options in order to cook or steam your recipes thoroughly like how it should come out. It will be quite similar to a microwave oven or toaster in that case. Most will have dial options but some digital ones do have digital timers with screen displays for ease of setting.
BPA-free: any BPA free material will be much appreciated because this means that your cooker will not have the threat of harmful chemicals that might leak into your recipes. BPA free materials are common nowadays, especially if you purchase a higher quality utensil. This is important if you want to consider a healthy cooking experience for your family or for your customers.
As our top pick, the BELLA 7.4 Quart gives you a no mess operation for steaming recipes due to the ease of cleanup on the two stackable clear baskets or trays, both of which can be dishwasher friendly. It also has a protective auto shutoff feature, which can keep your house or kitchen safe from sudden fires. Additionally, it keeps your recipes away from the potential of over boiling to maintain a good presentation for the family or guests.
Because of its technology, your veggies are cooked in the right way – they won’t become too soggy, as they will be cooked in a crisp way that retains most of its natural rawness in a way. Because it is a two tier system, you can cook veggies and meat, or two food groups of the different kind, simultaneously to save time and effort. You can also see how much water is left in the steamer due to the clear viewer.
You can put just about anything that can be steamed here, such as fish, tofu, poultry products, veggies, red meat, grains and Asian items like dumplings. It also comes with a quick start heating system so you can speed up the heating or steaming process. There’s also a handy steaming chart to make sure you heat up foods in the right time frame.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
The only con but not a deal breaker with the BELLA 7.4 Quart could be a little noisy when setting its dial, but that is a minor issue anyway.
The Hamilton Beach 37530A is our step-up pick, because it is not just a simple 2-tier steaming appliance, but is also a device with digital controls, as opposed to the manual dial controls of our top pick, making it a little pricier but more convenient. It is also easy to wash in the dishwasher – both the rice bowl and the drip tray. However, it is recommended to clean up the item containers by hand washing for best results and safety.
The touchpad makes life easier in the kitchen because it allows you to set the time precisely like you would on a microwave oven. This is handy for those who specifically need to follow a recipe with a set time for steaming veggies, meat, fish and the like. There is also an auto warming function so that it will act like a rice cooker and keep your items warm until it is time to serve it.
Because of its slightly short design but wide space, it can be stored in most cabinets without a lot of headroom needed. You can also remove one of the tiers to fit specific meal options, or you can combine both of them and remove the center divider for large meat and the like. It has a total capacity of 5.5 quarts all in all, and its keep warm function can go for up to 1 hour.
The Oster 5-Quart CKSTSTMD5W is our budget pick, which has an automatic timer that goes for up to 1 hour. It has a double tier construction as well, much like the other ones we mentioned, and it has a total capacity of 5 quarts so it is still plentiful for most fish, meat, veggies, dumplings and the like. It is also dishwasher safe for most of its parts, so it is very easy to clean overall.
There is a power indicator light so that you will know when the recipe is ready to be served, or when it is keeping the recipes warm, much like how you would see a rice cooker do its job properly. There is also an automatic shutoff feature, which is helpful so that you won’t risk burning or over boiling your food items, or risk fire accidents in the kitchen.
Like our top pick, it also retains the freshness of your veggies, such that it won’t overcook it to maintain a certain amount of freshness without having to use too much grease, as compared to conventional stir-fry cooking. For those who want to try a healthier way of cooking without spending a lot, this budget pick might be your choice.
Best Food Steamer with a Large Tray
The Breville BFS800BSS is a good choice if you want a large tray to fit in a lot of food items in one go. While it only has one tier or layer, it makes up for its large space which is perfect for lots of fish, veggies, steamed dumplings and the like. It has different settings for warming and for the heat levels, so you can set accordingly depending on how you want to cook your recipe.
In addition to that, it heats up quickly faster than 30 seconds or so, allowing you to work in the kitchen with time saving in mind. While it does not have two tiers, it actually has two separate casseroles for you to steam two recipe items at the same time, e.g. one for meat and one for veggies. This is why this large tray design is ideal for those with lesser kitchen headroom.
The advantage of the flat, single tier design, as compared to the stacked ones, is that the flavors will not mix together as the steam rises. There will be specific steaming zones for each of the recipe item or ingredient that you put into each container. You can also remove the two containers to form a larger steaming device, specifically ideal for fish and large meat products, usually with added garnishing.
Best Food Steamer with an LCD Control Panel
If you want one that has smart controls, such as one with an LCD control panel, the Cuisinart STM-1000 CookFresh is a good choice for you. Its LCD screen can be controlled easily and precisely for those who want a microwave style operation instead of simple dials. It is easy to set the timer for the item that you want to steam, and it comes with easy buttons for starting, pausing and stopping, as well as for reheating recipe items.
The tray and rim parts are made from stainless steel and is coupled with a glass lid for extra durability against heat. There are also many recipe settings to choose from and to program yourself, depending on your needs and preferences. It has a total capacity of 5 liters, which means that you can fit a lot of recipe items in there. And, for the water tank capacity, it’s about 1 liter.
The timer can be set for up to 60 minutes or 1 hour for your convenience. It will work on most recipes involving chicken, eggs, veggies and anything that’s healthy while retaining a recipe that’s full of flavor overall.
Best Food Steamer that is also a Rice Cooker
For those looking for both a rice cooker and a recipe steamer, look no further than the Aroma Housewares 6-Cup. It’s a 2-in-1 product that comes with the features of a rice cooker and a steaming appliance in just one go, since it has a rice measuring cup, a steam tray, a tempered glass lid and a serving spatula. You can cook rice at the bottom and steamed veggies or Asian dumplings at the top.
You can use it for most meat and vegetables and it can cook from 2 to 6 cups of rice at the bottom. It also has a keep warm function, much like every other rice cooker out there. It is also very easy to use due to the simple buttons that people who owned rice cookers before will find very familiar. You can also make soup recipes out of it due to the dual function design of the product.
You can also wash them at the top rack of your dishwasher (steam tray and inner pot) so cleanup is a breeze overall. If you are into Asian cuisine and want to cook something like dumplings or fresh veggies along with rice at the bottom, this is a great way to do so. It is also durable due to some stainless steel parts.
Best Food Steamer made of Bamboo
Another touch of Asian cuisine would be the Helen Chen’s Asian, since it is a pure bamboo steaming device, that comes in handy for Asian dimsum like dumplings, siomai, siopao and the like. Not only that, you can also use it for vegetables, meat, fish and many other food items without a lot of weight into it. This one is perfect for cultural shows or even for small businesses, as it is made of bamboo.
The whole bamboo tray measures 10 inches, and its construction is secure and safe to use for most food items. It does not have foreign plastics, wires or metal, so it is definitely safe for your food, much like a wooden chopping board. There’s also an opportunity for including it with a steam ring for cooking anything you like in a steamed way.
Of course, since it is made of bamboo, you should only hand wash it. But because it is made of bamboo, minerals and vitamins are retained into your recipe items, especially in veggies, and without the use of grease so you are basically doing a very low fat way to cook.
You can definitely use it with fish and seafood recipes, and since it’s traditionally used, it is an energy savings kitchen product that can go well with fish and meat as well, with little heat loss. You can lassos use it for most dumplings and Asian cakes.
Best Food Steamer for Eggs
For eggs, the Aiduy Egg Rack is a perfect choice because of its shape that can easily help eggs hold their place without the potential of breaking or cracking while cooking or steaming. It is a double function tray or rack that will also hold a hot plate while cooking, warming or cooling anywhere. To use this egg steaming tray or rack, simply place it over any hot surface with steam coming out of it.
You will also find it useful for devices like pressure cookers and rice cookers because of its unique design. The stainless steel rack has a size of about 7 x 4 inches and you can also stack the two racks together to form a two-layered egg stack for steaming, much like a regular vegetable steamer.
Whether you have brands of cookers like from T-fal, Cuisinart, Gourmia, Secura, Elite, Costaway, Fagor, Power XL, Kuhn Rikon, GoWise and the like, you will definitely find this rack very useful. It can fit up to 6 eggs in one rack, so a total of 12 can fit in two racks that are stacked together.
Best Food Steamer that is also a Pressure Cooker
The COSORI 6 Qt is a good choice if you also want a pressure cooker among other things. It is a multifunction kitchen appliance that has a digital timer and lots of controls for you to hang onto. It can be changed for its temperature readings, it can be adjusted for temperature levels, and you can also program specific recipes for it. You can steam, warm or pressure cook anything – even rice! It even has a custom program for pasta.
Veggie cooking and steaming can be done in a breeze due to the settings that are available for it. The total capacity of this kitchen appliance is 6 quarts, but you can also have a larger 8-quart one at a higher price. You also don’t need to worry about safety, since the appliance has been ETL, FCC & FDA certified for its unique safety features.
You can also use it for slow cooking other than for steaming vegetables due to the included tempered glass lid. It is so diverse in its functionality that you can also make yoghurt on it, using the pasteurization method. Even hotpots are a great recipe to try with this kind of kitchen buddy.
Best Food Steamer for Hotdogs
Are you still stuck in the retro ages? No worries, the Cuizen CST-1412B Retro is definitely a throwback for hotdog lovers out there. It can steam up to 12 buns and 12 hotdogs in this entire device, plus it has that classic red design that is reminiscent of the retro era. It has a timer that can be adjusted in terms of cooking time. The body is also cool to touch so you will not risk sudden burns.
There are also included recipes for you to try with this steaming appliance (booklet form), so you can enjoy different kinds of hotdogs in the comfort of your home. While it is marketed for hotdogs, you may be able to use it for other foods that look similar to hotdogs in design and length. It can be a great centerpiece of any family party that you can brag about to the kids.
There were others that did not make it to our list because they didn’t have enough timer options and were also not durable when it comes down to the materials used for the steaming device. This could be dangerous because it could leak or break when you use it too much.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the benefits of food steamers?
A: A food steamer is a beneficial appliance to most homes and restaurants. It cooks food by steaming and it has a water reservoir at the bottom that heats up, produces steam and heats ingredients. Here are their benefits:
|Quick cooking||You can quickly cook vegetables in no time with its water reservoir. In fact, the water reservoir may even have a level window so you will see when the water is out and it’s time to refill.|
|Less overcooking||It has an auto shut-off feature which protects your food from overcooking.|
|Retains nutrients||It does not ruin the nutrients of your recipes as compared to frying. It retains most of the water and does not dry it out like microwave heating.|
|Healthy cooking||Some and most are made with glass, while others are made with BPA-free plastic to avoid harsh chemicals. This means that it can also be a baby food maker, other than a vegetable steamer.|
|No grease||You cook with no grease or oil at all when you steam. It is much like using a food processor.|
|Energy saver||It only uses water to cook your food, so it saves electricity and fuel.|
|Easy cleanup||Many steamer reviews do say that such an appliance is easy to stack and easy to clean. Most of them are stainless steel in parts so they won’t easily deteriorate or corrode, leading to clean food all the time with proper maintenance.|
|Work for many recipes||You can not only speed up your cooking process, but you can also use it for many recipes out there. Most digital steamers are very convenient for such with presets due to the digital controls.|
|Less cholesterol||A steam cooker will help you to eat healthy with less cholesterol. You can use it for steaming vegetables for a healthy diet.|
Q: Steaming appliances are mostly used in vegan recipes. Why go vegan?
Vegetable mixes (corn and carrots) can be considered vegan diet.
A: There are many reasons as to why people go vegan, or at least try vegan recipes using such steaming appliances, such as the following:
- Increased life span
- Better physical fitness
- Reduced risk of osteoporosis
- Weight loss
- Reduced cancer risk
- Controls blood pressure
- Reduced diabetes risk
- Controls cholesterol levels
- Reduced arthritis symptoms
- Healthy BMI
- Good heart health
- Less migraines and headaches
- Tons of nutrients
- Fights anxiety and depressive episodes
- Better hormonal balance
- Reduced risk of stroke
- Can fend off asthma and allergies
- Glowing and youthful skin
- Healthy hair and nails
- Less sweat-induced body odor
Q: Fish is also a commonly steamed food item. Why is fish healthy?
Steamed fish is popular among Asian cuisine.
A: Fish is a great ingredient for many recipes, and has been hailed for many health benefits, such as:
|Healthy bones and teeth||Like vegetables, fish can help promote better bone and teeth health due to collagen.|
|Better immune system||Food steaming fish can help improve your resistance against most sicknesses.|
|Motor skills and learning||This is important for children as well as toddlers.|
|Manages blood sugar||People with diabetes tendencies can definitely consume fish for this.|
|Less likelihood of heart and blood pressure problems||This is important for those with history of hypertension and heart problems.|
|Cancer prevention||If you eat fish regularly then you’ll less likely have cancer.|
|Good for pregnant women||It can be a great way to make babies develop healthier during pregnancy.|
|Manages anxiety and depression||Fish has some good antioxidants that may help reduce anxiety and depression.|
|Helps with asthma and allergies||This is helpful for those suffering any respiratory disease.|
|Good vision||Eyesight can be improved with regular intake of steamed fish.|
|May help with insomnia or sleep apnea||If you have trouble sleeping at night, this can be a great recipe idea for you.|
|Reduced obesity risk||Fish is healthy and will help you to cut down the unwanted fats.|
Q: How are food steamers different from pressure cookers?
A: These two appliances differ by the following criteria:
|Criteria||Pressure cooker||Food steamer|
|Speed||Pressure cookers cook food faster than most methods.||They also cook fast, but not as fast as a pressure cooker does.|
|Electricity||Pressure cookers consume a lot of electricity.||Steaming appliances don’t consume as much.|
|Portability||They usually take a lot of space in the kitchen depending on the size.||Usually, these are very compact and may fit in smaller kitchens.|
|Ideal recipes||Recipes you can do with this kind of appliance include meat stews, tomato sauce, seafood, veggie soups, chicken, curry, risotto and the like.||Steaming is mostly good with Asian dumplings, vegetables, fish and a couple of meat, even potatoes or corn, and even eggs.|
|Noise levels||Pressure cookers might be a little noisier because of their cooking speed.||Not much noise is heard, depending on the model that you buy.|
Q: How are rice cookers different from food steamers?
Rice cookers are often confused with steamers.
A: To compare this kind of steaming appliance to rice cookers, here are their specific criteria:
|Criteria||Rice cooker||Food steamer|
|Purpose||Ideal for cooking rice and steaming some foods.||Can steam just about any food and not just limited to rice and vegetables.|
|Size||Rice cookers are technically larger than steaming appliances.||They are usually more compact in design and can fit in small kitchen spaces.|
|Controls||Some have simple controls with a lever switch mechanism but some have LCD controls as well.||Most will have either dial or LCD, but a lot of them will have dial controls.|
|Mostly found in||Asian cuisine restaurants and some households with rice as a staple.||Can be found in food stalls or carts, and some restaurants. Some can also be used at home.|
Q: Can lotus root be turned into dumplings for a food steamer?
Lotus root can be used for dumpling fillings.
A: Yes, you can make dumplings out of lotus root. You just need to do the following:
- Prepare 2 shiitake mushrooms and dice them.
- Slice 220 grams of lotus root with the fruit and dip it in vinegar and water mixture.
- Grate and squeeze the lotus root.
- In a bowl, put it together with the shiitake mushroom.
- Add 2 tbsp katakuriko, 2 tsp of sake, 1 tsp of soy sauce and 1 inch grated ginger, a pinch of salt, pepper, a pinch of salt and 1 tsp of white organic sugar.
- Add a green onion bulb, 1 tbsp of soy sauce and 1 tsp of mirin. Mix them all together and add half an egg white for added fluffiness.
- Make ping pong sized balls from the mixture and then wrap with plastic wrappers. Cook them in the microwave for 2 minutes.
- Add them to 500 ml dashi stock and any of the above mentioned ingredients. Serve while the soup and dumplings are hot.
Q: Can elderberry also become a dumpling ingredient?
Elderberries can be made into elderberry dumplings.
A: Yes, and to make these dumplings, you just need to do the following:
- Combine 1 tbsp flour, ¾ cup of water, 2 tbsp lemon/lime juice, ¾ cup brown/white sugar and 2 cups of elderberries.
- Warm them in low heat and keep them warm steadily.
- Mix the batter (separate the dry and wet ingredients) using ¾ cup sifted flour, ¼ cup sugar, ¼ cup lemon peel (grated), ½ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp cinnamon powder and ¼ cup milk. Add a medium large egg.
- Add the berry mixture in a casserole and then put your dumpling balls.
- Bake the whole thing at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
- Cool it down and serve afterwards.
Q: What are the benefits of sushi and why should I make them?
A: Sushi is a kind of Asian dish that comes from Japan. Sushi rice is cooked using steaming appliances. Here are the benefits of sushi:
|Controls obesity||This is important if you want to slim down or cut down on your fat and calorie intake.|
|Controls hormonal imbalance||This is because of the iodine, which can help with hypothyroidism.|
|Antioxidants||This is because it often comes with wasabi and some other fruits or veggies.|
|Good for the heart||This is due to the omega-3 fatty acids.|
|Helps in depression treatment||People with depression may also be helped due to the omega-3 fatty acids.|
|Prevents tooth decay||This is due to the wasabi included.|
|Good for your skin||Due to the vitamin C included because of the fruits and veggies|
Q: If I steam parsley, what health benefits will I get from it?
A: Parsley is another commonly eaten and steamed veggie. The benefits you can get from it are the following:
Parsley is a good veggie to eat.
- Vitamin A for your eyes
- Vitamin C for healthy skin
- Vitamin K or potassium for preventing blood clotting.
- Iron for a healthier blood circulation
- Antioxidants such as beta-carotene, zeaxanthin and lutein
- Helps fight arthritis
- Might help reduce the likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease due to potassium
Q: Eggs can be steamed, but are they really healthy?
A: Eggs can be cooked in many ways possible, including steaming. Cooking eggs is usually done by people during breakfast time, or when they feel hungry. Eggs do have health benefits, such as:
|Promotes satiety or fullness||This is good for dieting or losing weight.|
|Good cholesterol or HDL||Most people think that cholesterol is a bad thing, but it is actually good for the body if it is in the form of the HDL or good cholesterol.|
|Lots of nutrients||There are many nutrients that are included in eggs, like vitamin A, folate, B5, B2, selenium, vitamin E, protein and the like.|
|Choline||Choline is a needed vitamin for many brain functions, including memory and cognitive functions.|
Q: What dos and don’ts should you remember when handling veggies?
A: When you want to handle veggies properly, you should:
Do the following:
- Roast or steam them for better health benefits.
- Wash veggies before eating or cooking them.
- Do try frozen veggies if you don’t have a meal plan.
- Try cooking tomatoes because its nutrients actually become more activated in cooking.
Don’t do, or avoid the following:
- Don’t’ boil them to avoid losing nutrients.
- Don’t overcook them to avoid losing taste and nutrients.
- Don’t store them for a long time, since they are easily perishable.
Q: What advantages does steaming have over frying foods?
A: Both steaming and frying have their pros and cons, but steaming usually has the upper hand because:
|Cancer fighting properties||For instance, sulforphane, an anti-cancer compound, is usually found in broccoli.|
|Little to no oil||Steaming does not use oil, so you consume less fatty grease in the long run.|
|Little reduction in nutrients||Because steaming is gentle on veggies and food items, you can still retain their freshness and most of their nutrients as compare to frying.|
Q: Can you steam pasta noodles? What good does steaming do to it?
A: Yes, steaming pasta noodles is possible. In fact, if you have any leftover pasta or spaghetti noodles, or any kind of noodles whatsoever, you don’t have to sacrifice the moistness by putting it in a microwave. Steaming the noodles can retain most of the moisture and yet cook it quickly and evenly without too much fat or grease.
Q: What are the risks you will run into with BPA?
A: Most kitchen cookware and appliances nowadays are starting to become BPA-free. Bisphenol A or BPA is a harmful plastic chemical that could make people be at risk for:
- brain defects
- heart problems
- hormonal imbalance
Q: What are some common Asian cuisine steamed foods?
A: Asian cuisine mostly makes the use of a steaming appliance or cooker in order to cook their food properly. Common steamed foods from Asia include:
- Potsticker – a dumpling that is pan-friendly and steamed on each side.
- Shumai or siomai – dumplings that combine pork and shrimp inside.
- Har gau – traditional Chinese dumplings that has shrimp and peas.
- Asian steamed fish – may vary depending on the kind of fish you have.
- Steamed sponge cake – a favorite for most occasions, some can have coconut icing.
Q: What is siopao and what are the kinds of siopao?
Siopao or bao buns are great Asian delicacies.
A: Siopao is also known as the steamed bun, and is a Filipino-Chinese cuisine specialty. It is usually in the form of either asado or bola-bola:
Asado – filled with soy sauce filling, much like the adobo dish, and comes with beef or pork.
Bola-bola – filled with Chinese-style filling, which is much like meatloaf in texture.
Q: What are the different kinds of dumplings out there?
Chinese dumplings are best enjoyed steamed.
A: To truly enjoy steamed food from a steaming appliance, you have to know a couple of dumpling recipes and types, such as the following:
|Daifuku||Daifuku is made with lotus seed paste or any other kind of sweet filling. The outside is made with glutinous rice flour, and looks very cute for its tinted appearance in different color.|
|Empanada||The empanada is Spanish in nature, and can be found in most countries with Mexican influence or Spanish cuisine, such as South America, some parts of Europe and the Philippines. It is usually filled with beef, but some have veggies or fish (e.g. tuna).|
|Gyoza||Gyoza is a Japanese dumpling that can be made with pork and veggies in its mixture, and has a very thin wrapper for it.|
|Ha gow||This is a kind of Chinese dumpling that is made with thin or translucent wrapper, and has fillings of pea and shrimp in it.|
|Manti||This one comes from Turkey, and is made out of onion, lamb, garlic and pine nuts. It is sometimes served with paprika and yoghurt as a finishing touch.|
|Ravioli||The ever-famous Italian ravioli is a mix of meat, herbs, veggies or fruits inside, and has a square dough on the outside.|
|Xiao long bao||The xiao long bao is a famous Chinese dumpling that has soup inside the wrapper. Broth of either pork or chicken is stuffed inside, so when you pop one into your mouth, you get a fun surprise.|
|Siomai||The siomai is a Philippine variant of the xiao long bao, but instead of soup, meat filling is used, much like the Japanese gyoza. It can either be steamed or fried, and is usually eaten together with rice.|
Q: How much nutritional value does siomai have?
A: Siomai is a Philippine dumpling that was influenced by Chinese cuisine. It can be cooked in an electric steamer has the following nutritional values per serving of pork siomai:
|Vitamin A||2911 IU|
|Vitamin C||6.8 mg|
Q: How can regularly consuming veggies help your health?
A: Veggies like broccoli and the like are mostly cooked in an electric food steamer, and may be able to help you achieve the following:
- Reduced DNA damage
- Promotes good bacteria
- Reduced cholesterol levels
- Manages blood pressure
- Stronger immune system
- Rich in antioxidants
- Less risk for cancer
Q: Are there benefits to using a bamboo steamer?
A: Bamboo steaming trays originated in Asia, especially in countries like China, and are still being used today because of the following reasons:
- It can absorb excess moisture from the food
- It’s organic wood so it’s less toxic
- Heat circulation is improved due to the dome shape
- Slats allow the movement of steam between layers or tiers
- You can stack a lot of tiers together
Wrapping It Up
Overall, we believe that BELLA 7.4 Quart is our pick for the best food steamer because of the auto shut off feature, clean design and easy to stack baskets or trays. It has sufficient safety features and can be reliable for various kinds of steamed foods.