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Steaming food with out equipment?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I don't have a steam basket or a steamer. I really need to practice cooking some steamed dishes for a contest Im participating in. How do I steam food without equipment?

post #2 of 13

Collapsible, "folding steamer baskets" run around $5 - $10 at the super.  Get one.

 

In a pinch you can use a small colander,  You can also make a steamer by putting a plate in your pot.  If you need some room, put a coffee cup in the pot first and place the plate on top.  You can also use an inexpensive basket in combination with the coffee cup trick.

 

BDL

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you. I'll be sure to look for the folding steamer baskets at the store. All the different things you can use are really useful.

post #4 of 13

Cut both ends out of a few of cans of the same size. Use these as supports for a wire rack or plate for holding the steamed food.

 

In a wok, buld a tic-tac-toe shape out of bamboo chopsticks. Pour in the water below the level of the chopsticks. Rest a plate on that. Cover and you have a common Chinese steamer set up.  Plastic chopsticks are prone to bend under the weight and heat so use the bamboo ones.

 

 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #5 of 13

All good ideas, along with numerous variations of them.

 

I've got a question, though: Is one of the contest rules that you prepare the dish without proper equipment? Otherwise I don't understand why you would choose to compete on a non-level playing field.

 

Don't forget that many foods will stick to an unlined steamer. To get around that, first put down a layer of lettuce or cabbage leaves, then place the actual food on them.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

We're not allowed to use any eletrical applinces.

post #7 of 13

I don't see how that's germane, CG. If I'm reading you correctly, that merely means you'll be cooking on gas stoves, and all prep work has to be done by hand. No big deal. Or shouldn't be.

 

My point was simply that if you signed on to compete in a steamed-food competition you should at least have some sort of steamer. I'm sure the other contestents will. My impression, too (although maybe I'm reading too much between the lines?) is that you have little experience with steaming. And, again, I have to wonder why you'd choose to compete in an area you don't understand?

 

Or am I missing something? Maybe it would help if you provided a few more details.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #8 of 13

Chinese grandmother trick.  Break cheap disposable wooden chopsticks to proper length and place crosswise in the bottom of a large pot.  Add water.  Place a heat proof ceramic bowl on top of chop sticks.  Cover.  Voila.  Chinese householders have been doing it for centuries.  Alternatively, go to an Asian grocery store that carries household and kitchen goods.  They will likely have large stacking aluminum steamers for cheap (e.g., $20-30).  That should get you a 14" steamer with a base, two trays and a cover.  They go on your stove top.  Just right for making your own dim sum.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

There are four different ways we have to cook.

Poach, braise,steam,pan fry

I have the other three down.

The competition is in january and I want to have enough time to get my dish down perfect.

 

post #10 of 13

Hmm. What sort of food do you have to steam? Vegetables, rice, fish, pork buns, a side of beef, or what?

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

We have to steam a meat or  vegtables

post #12 of 13

Red meats and poultry tend not to steam very well, they get tough.  Fish is less of a problem.  Getting back to "meat," sausage works well though.  You can also grind, season, make additions, and wrap in homemade or store bought won-ton skins, for a rustic, western, "dim-sum" type dumpling.  Other meat dumplings, like kreplach, also steam well; and you can use just about any sort of filling -- pierogi for instance -- and it will work too.  Serve in a sour cream or brown butter sauce. 

 

Line the steamer with shredded cabbage leaves and thinly coined carrots, put the dumplings on top, and voila!

 

Stuffed cabbage is another possibility.  Stuffed peppers are too, but you want to char the peppers before stuffing and I don't know if that would be within the rules.  Stuffed grape leaves would work as well.

 

I'm not sure if you can bring your own special equipment to the comp, but you might want to investigate a Chinese bamboo steamer.  Cheap.  Holds a lot.  Stack two or three and they hold a helluva lot!  You'll need a cheap wok, too.  A "multi-pot" comes with two steamer inserts and is another possibility. 

 

If you're steaming anything with a tendency to stick, don't forget to oil your steamer generously.

 

BDL

 

 


Edited by boar_d_laze - 10/31/11 at 10:19am
post #13 of 13

Put a bowl upside down in a pot put water in pot ;place product on top of bowl , cover and steam. Spray top of bowl with pan spray so nothing sticks. Or put cheesecloth on top of pot let it go into pot a bit but not into the water then tie around outside of pot with string . Place item on cheesecloth cover and steam

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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