forum: Food & Drink

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#1 Tue 04 Mar 08 4:33am

bcrain

Forum champ
Occupation Duty Free Lancome and Fragrance sales
From Greater Vancouver
Member since Mon 23 Oct 06

Bamboo Steamers

OK, we just bought one... I washed it out before hand, a few weeks prior to using, then a few hours before using, I steamed it out for 10 minutes just to get anything "extra" out... now, my question, if we used the bamboo steamer for steaming fish, like we did, should I just wash it out in soapy water and let dry or is there a different way of cleaning your bamboo steamer?? I never usually wash my wok in soap, just wash really well after cooking, right away, with a natural bristle brush, set to dry and then wipe with a thin coat of oil. Oh, and if using a bamboo steamer is it necessary to line it with lettuce or what have you? I just thought one was supposed to just in case of any sticking?

Now all I want to do is get a load of good dim sum and steam it at home!! yummy

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#2 Tue 04 Mar 08 8:19am

GeoffP

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Occupation Retired Clergy & Computer Consultant
From Bradford, West Yorks
Member since Mon 03 Jul 06

Re: Bamboo Steamers

Its always a good idea to line your steamer with with something, especially if steaming fish or meat. Often you would also have some kind of flavouring under and over the food being steamed, which could be both liquids and solids.

Its quite sufficient to clean it as you suggest.

Why not make your own Dim Sum?

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#3 Tue 04 Mar 08 5:05pm

bcrain

Forum champ
Occupation Duty Free Lancome and Fragrance sales
From Greater Vancouver
Member since Mon 23 Oct 06

Re: Bamboo Steamers

I could make my own dim sum but we are lucky that we have so many great places that make it for you. You can get it frozen or fresh if you know the good places to go and it is not expensive at all. We usually go to the city of Richmond to get the good stuff, that's where all the good Asian, mostly Chinese markets are.

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#4 Tue 04 Mar 08 5:26pm

Maree

Forum champ
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Sat 10 Mar 07

Re: Bamboo Steamers

Bcrain, we are also blessed with a "Little Chinatown" 25-30 mins away on the train at a place called Hurstville.

They make on the premises.

Otherwise, there is the trip into the City for the "real" Chinatown.

I have a set of four bamboo steamers which I use at least weekly in a wok with a metal "gizmo" (don't know what it is called, sorry), but it serves to keep the steamers off the base of the (flat) wok as my stove is electric.

I line the bamboo steamers, at the advice of the cook, with wet "chux". I spray oil on the steamer bases prior adding the wet Chux.

Hope this helps:)


"Cook with love and laughter ..."
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#5 Wed 05 Mar 08 2:50am

stuvik

Member
Occupation IT - Programmer
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Tue 22 May 07

Re: Bamboo Steamers

There's no 'good' dim sum here in Newcastle sad

Generally, you don't place food directly on top of the bamboo. If you're steaming fish in it then you usually place that on a dish and place that in the steamer.

Wax/baking paper should work with lining bamboo steamers too.

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#6 Wed 05 Mar 08 4:06am

bcrain

Forum champ
Occupation Duty Free Lancome and Fragrance sales
From Greater Vancouver
Member since Mon 23 Oct 06

Re: Bamboo Steamers

After Geoff posted I was thinking, hello, I do have parchment paper that I always use, why didn't I think of that?? When served Dim Sum they usually have it lined with parchment, or what I think is parchment, lol! Mind you, they usually have metal steamers but non the less, it's always lined.

I was looking through an old, like 70's, Chinese cookbook that I have and in a pinch you dont even need a bamboo steamer. It states that you fill a wok with the proper amount of water then make a tic tac toe with chop sticks then place your dish you are wanting to steam with ontop of the chopsticks then place your food and then cover and then place a towel, if necessary around the surface of the lid to keep in the steam/heat. I know I had read this years ago but could not remember for the life of me where I had read it. Anyways, just a tip! Actually, you could always use a pasta pot too.

Stu, do you parents make Dim Sum? I know it's kind of time consuming, if you want variety... we usually order prawn/shrimp, pork, congee, gai lan, rolled rice noodle and my fav, wrapped sticky rice with pork and mung bean!! yummy  yummy And you can't leave without an egg/custard tart!!

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#7 Thu 06 Mar 08 1:19am

stuvik

Member
Occupation IT - Programmer
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Tue 22 May 07

Re: Bamboo Steamers

Hi bcrain,
Nah. My folks just stick to 'Westernised' Asian dishes. Most of our customers haven't even heard of Dim Sum/Yum Cha. The problem is the prep time in making dim sum. Most dim sum restaurants start as early as bakers to make the quantities and varieties of dishes needed every day. My sister's father-in-law, who owns a restaurant that does make dim sum, gets about 4 hours sleep a night. 7 days a week. Not the kind of lifestyle many are prepared for.

One of my favourite dim sum dishes are taro puffs. It's a meat filling wrapped in taro paste then deep fried. The taro becomes all flaky and light but fragile. When you pick it up it crumbles from the handling.

You're right about the steamed fish. You don't need the bamboo steamer. Basically all you need to do is make sure the fish is above the boiling water and can be covered.
It's one of my favourites too smile After the fish has been cooked, drain excess water that may pool up around the fish and  top it off with finely chopped ginger and spring onion. After this heat up some oil (about 50ml but varies depending on the fish size) in a pot or pan and pour it over the fish (the fish will sizzle while you're pouring it on). Finish up by pouring some good quality light soy sauce on top after the oil.

Some restaurants have their waiter/waitress de-bone the steamed fish at the table in front of everyone. It's impressive to watch  them put the fish back together as if it was still whole smile

Last edited by stuvik (Thu 06 Mar 08 4:40am)

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#8 Thu 06 Mar 08 2:29am

bcrain

Forum champ
Occupation Duty Free Lancome and Fragrance sales
From Greater Vancouver
Member since Mon 23 Oct 06

Re: Bamboo Steamers

Mmmm, I like the taro puffs too! Well, I think I like everything, haha! The only thing I wont order is the Chinese doughnuts, just a tad too greasy for me.

Wow, I thought everyone loved Dim Sum! But you are right about the time involved... I used to open for a bakery. I didn't have to bake but had to be there to display everything. Only good thing about it was going home at 2pm smile .

We actually have a recipe that my hubby uses for steamed fish thats similar to what you have described. It's very good! yummy

So, what's your mom and dads fav. dish that they cook? Do you guys have a few dishes that are for only you? I often wonder whats cooking up only for the staff, lol!

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#9 Thu 06 Mar 08 4:56am

stuvik

Member
Occupation IT - Programmer
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Tue 22 May 07

Re: Bamboo Steamers

I can't say I like those 'doughnuts' either...the deep fried bread sticks, chopped up and added to nice congee is a real winner though.

I left out the prep of the fish before actually steaming it. Basically score the sides then season with some salt, pepper, and [optional] add some coriander/cilantro and/or re-hydrated  and sliced sh!take mushrooms inside the cavity.

Dad actually has quite a few dishes he makes at the shop (out of convenience) that's not on the menu. Mainly because our customers don't like waiting more than 5mins for their order to be ready, maybe 10mins if the order is quite large (8+ dishes), and [again] prep time is a factor. He does his version of white-cooked chicken at least once a week though yummy He also makes a lot of fish-based dishes throughout the week.

As for my parents' fav. dish? Hard to say really. Mum's hyper-conservative when it comes to her food (everything is always very well-cooked) and dad (with his engineering background) likes to experiment with flavours. I don't think there's a dish that they can both fully agree upon...which is probably a good thing. It means they have to keep trying new things mrgreen

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