Bamboo steamer

Bamboo steamer

The bamboo steamer is a steaming appliance. Judging by the name, it is easy to guess that the material for its manufacture is bamboo, or rather, bamboo fiber. The bottom and lid of the box are made of woven straw.

A bit of history

Zhenlon, or literally translated from Chinese, “steam basket”, was invented about 7 thousand years ago. The material of their manufacture was constantly changing and it was not possible for archaeologists to establish exactly when exactly wooden baskets were invented. Since wood is not as durable as bronze or ceramics, therefore, bamboo dishes could not be found in ancient burials.

Today, the bamboo steamer is found in almost every Chinese household and is used as often as we use pans and pans. Like many centuries ago, in China, steam baskets are made exclusively by hand. The only difference between modern models and the ancients is that they use metal wire, while in ancient China metal was rarely used due to its high cost..

A bamboo steamer allows you to cook a huge number of delicious and healthy dishes.

As you know, steamed meat or fish retain much more nutrients than boiled or fried ones. Also, a double boiler is convenient to use for heating dishes – food remains juicy in it. Dishes in this appliance have a special flavor that cannot be achieved with conventional cooking..

Since a bamboo steamer is still a wooden model, in order to prevent the wood from absorbing various odors, in the homeland of this invention in China, the bottom of the steamer is covered with banana leaves. In Russia and many other countries, this raw material is quite difficult to find, and such leaves are quite expensive. Therefore, many housewives successfully replace them with cabbage and grape leaves, or parchment paper..

How to cook

Any saucepan or other utensil that can be placed on the stove will work for cooking..

Water is poured into it, and a double boiler is installed directly on top. Its bottom is lined with paper or other material, and then the products are laid out in one layer. During cooking, it is necessary to monitor the water level and, if necessary, add it so that the vaporization process does not stop..

To give the structure stability, the pan should be chosen with a smaller diameter than the cooking device. The device itself should be positioned so that there is a steam space of 2-3 cm between the bottom and the water layer.To prevent the resulting condensation from flowing onto the stove, the junction of the pan with a steamer should be sealed with something – for example, with a piece of gauze.

In a bamboo steamer, you can cook not only meat or fish dishes.

Steamed vegetables are also good. And although the Chinese themselves prefer to fry them, steamed vegetables are often present not only in the diet of some housewives, but also in the menus of many fashionable restaurants. You can also steam rice. Since in this article we are talking specifically about a bamboo steamer, then in them the bottom is pre-covered with a perforated substrate made of baking paper or parchment..

To enhance the taste, you can add a little spices or herbs to the water: thyme, cloves, rosemary and other seasonings you like. The cooking dish will absorb their aroma along with the absorbed steam. Numerous reviews from fans of steamed food say that the taste of dishes prepared in this way is simply amazing. Besides the fact that it is tasty, it is also very useful – any nutritionist will confirm this..

Structural features

Bamboo Chinese cooking baskets come in different sizes. The small model has a bottom diameter of only 15 cm. It is good because the dish prepared in it can be served directly in it. Such models can have multiple layers. In Russia, 2-4 storey models are most often offered. In China itself, there are specimens of 10 or more floors. To ensure that the food cooked in them is evenly steamed, the food in each basket should be stacked along the walls, and the middle should be left as free as possible..

Then the steam will be able to rise to a height of several levels..

Advantages

Environmental Safety. In the manufacture of this bamboo steamer, only natural materials are used. Therefore, the food cooked in it will not have foreign and harmful impurities to human health..

Saving energy. As you know, almost all modern steamers are powered by electricity. The bamboo steamer allows you to cook food on gas and even, if necessary, on a fire.

Food in the steamer basket will not run out or run away. You can safely fall asleep rice or other cereals, without worrying that the food will burn.

Dumplings, manti, dumplings, pies and other dough products will not spread and will not stick out in a double boiler, even if you cook them for a long time or even forget to take them out.

The ability to make individual portions and serve them to the table directly in the same dish in which the food was prepared.

The only condition is to avoid direct contact of food with the basket and make a paper or other layer.

The process of washing a bamboo steamer is not as laborious as washing other dishes. Just rinse under running water.

A great gift. The price of smart dishes in the historical homeland is often several times lower than in Russia. Therefore, many tourists bring it from the Middle Kingdom to themselves and their friends as a souvenir. In addition, the chances of getting a real bamboo steamer are much higher there than here..

disadvantages

The disadvantages of a bamboo steamer include the fact that a wooden container tends to absorb odors, so ideally you need to have separate containers for meat dishes, for fish, as well as vegetables or cereals..

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