Monday, June 9, 2008

Wham: Steaming Food Can be a Nutritious Change of Pace

At our house, one of our summer rituals is the outdoor grill. I used to believe that nothing tasted better than a nice piece of fish cooked outdoors along with a variety of grilled veggies.

Recently, however, we bought one of those Chinese bamboo steamers -- a simple set of bamboo containers that stack on top of each other and which are placed over a wok or a pan of boiling water. The steam goes up through the interlocking bamboo racks and cooks your food in a short period of time.

We decided to put our wild salmon in the bamboo steamer, along with some of the veggies that would normally go alongside the fish on the grill.

WOW was it good. In fact, we are going to switch over permanently to cooking fish and vegetables via our bamboo steamer. The fish was so tasty - it didn't dry out as it often does via the grill and it had a wonderful flavor thanks to the fish sauce (available at any Chinese grocery) that we sprinkled on the small plate holding the fish inside the steamer rack.

Steaming food can be very nutritious, because little of the water soluble vitamins (B, C) escape as they would otherwise, and much of the extra fat in the fish is cooked out (you pour it off the plate you use in the steamer). While veggies can be overcooked easily, the stacking trays on the bamboo steamer allow you to put items such as potatoes closer to the steam than other, more sensitive foods. For us, steaming food has been a great change.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I bought the bamboo steamer a few years ago, and have enjoyed making vegetables with it, and tamales too. But I've never thought to try a piece of meat, but after reading about your experience, along with the instructions and how it came out, I'm going to try it on the tilapia in my freezer. Thanks!