Bamboo steamers are great for steaming food. The texture of bamboo allows steam to circulate and evaporate so that less moisture will form on the inside of the lid. Steamers are normally placed over boiling water than to start steaming over cold water. Some Chinese like to boil water in wok then stack bamboo steamers over wok. Asian grocery stores also sell metal steamers. Metal steamer comes with a saucepan that can hold water for steaming.
So how does steamers work? Arrange food to be steamed in a flat heatproof dish or foil pie pan before placing it in the steamer. To be creative, instead of heatproof dishes, you can place lettuce or bok choy leaves directly on the steamer. Then place food on top of the leaves. This works great with steaming dumplings! Serve food with the steamer. It spices up your dinner table! Or if you are making steamed bread, lightly grease the bamboo slats and then place the dough directly in the steamer. When finished, remember to take off the lid and let the steam disperse before reaching in for food. To see more about style of cooking, click steaming. To see food and bamboo steamers in action, click Dim Sum!