The steamer is a common utensil in the Asian kitchen. This three layer aluminum Chinese Steamer comes in a variety of sizes (24cm, 30cm and 40cm). It's used for such Oriental dishes as steamed whole fish, crab, seafood, vegetables, Chinese dim sum and even steamed whole chicken.
This multi-tiered Aluminum Chinese Steamer enables you to cook large amounts of food at one time or to prepare several dishes at once, saving time and energy. Aluminum steamers conduct heat better then bamboo steamers, last longer and do not retain odors. As heat is conducted better then in a bamboo steamer, cooking time is reduced in an aluminum steamer. And the two tiers allow you to cook a different type of food on each layer.
Water is added to the bottom pan and brought to a full rolling boil before the food is placed inside. The upper 2 layers are perforated and are where the food is placed to be steamed. The large area of the trays allows the hot steam to rise and circulate to cook the food and the tight fitting lid traps the steam inside. To prepare the trays can be rubbed with oil and/or lined with banana leaves to keep the food from sticking. Food should always be loaded or removed from the trays away from the heat.
If the foods you are steaming are wrapped with dough or leaves, you may place them directly on the perforated rack. Meat, fish, poultry and vegetables should be placed on plates or in casseroles when steaming, to retain their juices. Or the water at the bottom of the steamer can be turned into a flavorful stock when both meats and vegetables are steamed together and the juices allowed to drip down.
Sticky foods, such as sweets or fish cakes may be set on a cheesecloth, banana leaves or wax-paper squares. Make sure to leave sufficient holes open if using wax-paper to allow the steam to circulate. Choose heat proof containers that allow at least a 1 inch clearance from the side of the steamer.
Precautions for Steaming: If the time required for steaming is long, be sure to not let the water boil away. Keep a kettle of boiling water on hand and add more boiling water to the bottom pan to maintain the water level, but do not lift the domed lid. Towards the end of cooking time let the steamer set to cool slightly, stand back and slowly remove the lid as steam can cause bad burns. Be sure to use oven mitts. Steaming times vary, with foods on the bottom, where the steam pressure is greater, cooking quicker then those on the top. When following a recipe, steaming time begins once the lid is closed. Once the water is brought back to a rolling boil, the temperature may be reduced but should maintain a steady bubbling.
This three layer Aluminum Stacked Steamer comes in a variety of sizes: 24cm (9 inches), 30cm (12 inches) and 40cm (16 inches). Choose the steamer according to the type of cooking you plan to do. For instance, for steaming a 1-1 1/2 pound whole fish (to serve 2-3 people Asian style) a 12" steamer would be a good size. Also we do not recommend using a wok for steaming if you have been using it to stir-fry, as it will cause the desirable black patina to wash away.
See Thai recipes using the Chinese Steamer: Steamed Sea Bass with Thai Chili Paste, Vietnamese Steamed Pumpkin Salad, Steamed Dumplings Filled with Pork and Curried Fish Mousse.
Aluminum Steamer, Diamond Brand. Dimension: 24 cm (about 12 inches) Depth: 2.5 inches. 3 levels (2 for steaming food). Product of Thailand.
Also see Sticky Rice Steamer.
Availability: Ships in 2-3 business days