Steaming greens is an underutilized cooking method in my kitchen. After my final journey to Japan, I pledged to treatment the difficulty. This easy, direct technique of cooking is likely one of the causes I really like consuming in Japan. I imply, let’s be trustworthy, I most likely like steamed greens greater than most, however I take pleasure in them exponentially extra there. In some way, most of the issues I really like about touring there are summed up on this easy preparation.
I would usually obtain a sampling of seasonal produce as a part of a mix lunch. The greens arrived on the desk fantastically organized within the bamboo basket they had been steamed in. I would work my manner by a rainbow of vibrant, tender potatoes, squash, mushrooms, broccoli rabe, and the like, typically including a pinch of zesty shichimi togarashi, however most of the time, an informal toss of some grains of salt could be all. Every meal was a vibrant, satisfying reminder of simply how good greens might be when ready merely with care and intent. Their pure flavors coming by direct and ideal.
Escape the Steamer!
After this previous journey, my cheap, tri-level bamboo steamer was promptly dusted upon my arrival residence, and put into correct rotation. The factor that by no means ceases to shock me is the velocity even essentially the most hearty chunks of root greens or squash turn into tender – ten minutes, usually much less.
Selecting a Steamer
Bamboo steamers are simple to return by, and comparatively cheap. Go this route in the event you aren’t positive how usually you may use your steamer. The one draw back is that they take up an excellent quantity of cupboard space, not far more than an enormous pot, however nonetheless. These steamers can be found in a spread of diameters, and are fabricated from interlocking trays supposed for stacking on atop of the opposite. Positioned above simmering water, the steam from the water rises by the trays and cooks the meals. It is a easy premise that works astoundingly properly. I exploit three trays, however you may definitely go up or down a degree.
I finally graduated to a ceramic steamer, and likewise picked up this Mushi Nabe, donabe steamer. Each are good as a result of you may make a broth or curry within the base, after which use steam the elements up above on the similar time. Any of the steamers make a pleasant leap from cooking to desk. If you wish to develop past steaming greens, you too can steam every little thing from dumplings and tofu to eggs, tamales and sure rices.
Some Recommendations on Steaming Greens:
Whereas steaming with water is most typical, I’ve additionally performed round utilizing miso broth, vegetable broth, vegetable dashi, or tea rather than water. Every imparts a unique scent and taste to the greens. Extra occasions than not although, I exploit water.
Organize your slowest cooking greens within the backside basket, working as much as the quickest. One other time saver is to get your densest, slowest cooking greens began in within the backside tray, when you prep the faster cooking greens for the mid and high baskets. Place the lid on no matter basket is on high on the time.
Some folks line their steamers with cabbage leaves or parchment. I do not trouble, putting the greens instantly on the steamer as a substitute. I like the way it appears to maintain the steam circulating. A fast scrub with sizzling water and the tough facet of a sponge makes clean-up easy.
When utilizing the bamboo steamer, you need to use a wok (steamer sits above the simmering water) or extensive skillet (I set the steamer instantly in a shallow skillet of simmering water)…A wok is extra conventional, and simpler in your steamer, however each strategies work properly.
So, much less of a recipe, and extra of a reminder at the moment of how good essentially the most primary preparations might be. A couple of years after I initially posted this, I did one other deeper dive into Utilizing your Underutilized Steamer. Have enjoyable! -h