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Food & Drink
Food steamers

Food steamers


Food steamers are a kind of kitchen utensils most commonly used in China.Generally made of bamboo strips,they vary in size from more than a metre in diameter,as those used in public canteens and restaurant kitchens,to only about 30 centimetres,as those used in private homes.Mini-steamers,measuring only about a dozen centimeters in diameter,are used by certain restaurants to make and serve dainty snacks in.

Fook to be cooked by steaming(e.g. mantou,stuffed buns or jiaozi)is arranged on racks,which are piled up one on top of another,and steamed under cover over a boiling pot.The steam from the water heats and cooks the food.Mantou,as explained in a preceding article,is made this way and that is why Westerners call it isteamed breadi.

Wheaten food cooked in bamboo steamers is free from excessive moisture,and it carries a faint fragrance of the bamboo.Rustless steel has been used to make steamers in the belief that they can be mass-produced and last infinitely longer than bamboo steamers.In practice,however,steam condensed by the metal surface gives the food a moist coat and mades it less appealing to the palate.Steel,furthermore,proves to be less heat-insulating and does not keep the food warm.In comparison,bamboo steamers have many advantages over those made of other materials.No wonder most Chinese families still cling to the former.

 

 
   
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