CONSUMER REPORT –Whether you use a steam basket, an electric cooker or a bamboo steamer, here are five CR tips to bring your steaming from bland – to BOLD.
Why just steam with water when you can infuse flavor with other liquids? Anything from broth or beer to wine or flavored vinegars will do. But avoid thick liquids like tomato sauce, which can burn.
“Steaming is a great way to cook without adding fat and calories, and it retains nutrients that can be lost when boiling. And you don’t have to sacrifice flavor,” said Amy Keating, Consumer Reports Nutritionist.
You can also add flavor to the cooking liquid – think lemon peel, dill, sliced garlic. Steam seafood with white wine, onion, lemon juice and herbs. A bit of sesame oil goes a long way. Chicken or potatoes are enhanced by rosemary and garlic.
Spice up your foods before steaming. Brush on lemon juice or a flavored vinegar, then pat the ground spices right into the surface. Marinating foods before steaming adds loads of flavor – and tenderizes the meat. A mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar and lemon juice makes fish fantastic. Try carrots with olive oil, cumin, coriander and a dash of salt and pepper.
Finally, try using parchment paper or foil to make a sealed envelope around foods and create steam in the oven.
“Thin cuts of seafood are ideal for cooking this way. Surround the fish with a little oil, some greens, veggies and herbs that’ll build up steam while it’s baking,” Keating said.