Having a bamboo steamer is the beginning of a change in your diet, since steaming food will be much faster, more nutritious and healthier for the whole family. But, the maintenance of this utensil must be carried out with great caution to keep it in the best conditions of use and that its structure is not damaged.
Chinese food, in addition to being legendary, stands out for being very healthy thanks to the use of steam cooking techniques in many of its recipes, these techniques remain in force until today and have also become popular in Western cuisine.
We refer specifically to the use of the traditional bamboo steamer to reduce the consumption of fried and breaded foods. If you want to know which steamer to buy (in this link you will find several products to choose from), we inform you that the bamboo steamer is a very easy-to-use instrument and, depending on its design, allows you to cook various types of food without the juices and flavors being lost. mix with each other.
Now, if you already have a steamer of this type, we are sure that you are concerned about keeping it as new and for this you will need to apply certain care when cleaning. For this reason, we bring you some tips to achieve it, explaining in more detail what it is about.
the first use
It is very important that before using the steamer for the first time, you wash it with cold water. This technique will not cause any problems in the structure of the steamer, you just have to open the tap with cold water and place the bamboo basket under the water for a couple of minutes.
However, to start cooking it is necessary to prevent food juices from penetrating the bamboo fiber and for this it is recommended to place cabbage or lettuce leaves on the base and place the food to be cooked on top of these. If you don’t have these vegetables, you can use wax paper as a substitute.
Remember that regardless of the cover you use on the base of the steamer, you will need to make some holes in it so that the steam can be transferred efficiently.
Once the steamed food has been prepared, it is time to sanitize the bamboo basket, and for this you must avoid using the dishwasher, as it can damage the fabric of the steamer.
The best way to clean this utensil is by hand with a soft cloth dampened in warm water. In case food remains are fixed on the surface of the steamer, you can use a scourer and gently rub the parts of the food, but without immersing in water.
Also, under no circumstances should you use detergents, as the odors from these can penetrate the bamboo fibers and be transferred to the food in the next use.
In case the food remains are difficult to remove, you can apply a little vinegar to the warm water in which you moisten the scourer and rub more firmly until the dirt comes out. The vinegar also helps to neutralize the odors of the food cooked in the basket; thus, the steamer will not have any aroma when you use it again.
a good drying
To avoid the formation of mold on the surface of the basket, it is necessary to dry it well with a towel, remove all excess moisture and let it dry in the air but away from the sun. Once it feels quite dry to the touch, you can store the steamer in a ventilated cupboard until the next use.
Tips to keep the steamer longer
If you have noticed that your steamer is losing color or you want to offer it special maintenance, you can use an infused black tea bag and carefully rub it on the surface of the bamboo. It is necessary that the tea bag is well soaked, because in this way it will be able to expel the tannic acid that will help rejuvenate the bamboo fibers.
In case of cooking fish, an alternative to vinegar to eliminate residual odors is lemon. You will only need a quarter of the citrus to gently rub the steamer and then wash it with the damp cloth, following the procedure already explained.
Excessive drying of the steamer can influence the cracking of the bamboo fibers, which is why some people use vegetable oil to moisturize it. It can be olive oil or any other type that you use in your kitchen, you just have to moisten an absorbent towel and, after the basket dries, rub its entire surface inside and out with the oil. It should be noted that to avoid dehydration of the steamer, it is necessary to use it frequently.
Benefits of using the steamer
Since you have learned how to care for and maintain the bamboo steamer, we believe it is important to remind you of all the benefits and advantages of incorporating this cooking technique into your daily diet.
- The nutrients and minerals of the food are maintained, while preserving its natural flavor, color and texture.
- Cooking is very fast, which means that it saves electricity or gas.
- The use of oils and fried foods is avoided, being very beneficial for your body.
- Meat and fish remain juicy with steam cooking.
To give you an idea of how fast it is to use the bamboo steamer, here are some reference cooking times for various foods.
Butternut squash and peas can take up to 5 minutes to cook, while cauliflower, broccoli and beans need about 8 minutes. On the other hand, potatoes take 12 to 15 minutes and broad beans need a minimum of 15 minutes.
With regard to some types of fish, the cooking time will be 10 to 15 minutes. Likewise, cabbage, carrots, fennel and brussel sprouts also take 10 minutes to cook.
As you can see, with the bamboo basket you can prepare a very complete menu in a short time, keeping all its nutrients to improve the diet of the whole family.