Steaming is a cooking method that works well with delicate items as it requires little agitation of the product and is thus perfect for tender vegetables as well as seafood. Because the food is not submerged as with simmering and boiling, there is little loss of nutritional content.
Tips and Tricks for Steaming:
The most common way to steam an item is to bring the liquid in a large pot to a simmer and steam the product in a basket suspended over the simmering liquid with the cover on.
You only need a about 1-2 inches of water or broth in the bottom of the pot to steam, let the liquid come to a rolling boil, turn down to a simmer, then add the steamer basket with the product to the pot and cover.
Season product before placing in the steamer basket with salt and pepper to get the seasoning locked in.
Season the product immediately after steaming with herbs, oil or butter and other liquids such as vinegar or lemon juice to add more flavor. The product will absorb more of the flavor while it is still hot.
If you don’t have a steamer basket, a metal colander that fits in the pot will work as well.
Steam times will vary based on the product but the easiest way to determine cook time is to test a very small batch first and to test often for desired doneness.
What to steam:
Corn – off the cob
Squash – summer