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steaming your way to tasty and healthy food

Updated on August 5, 2012

What is steaming

Steaming is a great way of preparing a healthy and delicious meal. Steaming not only preserving the nutrients, but also is an effective way of preparing natural tender food. Steaming is achieved by heating the water to become vapour and using the heat of the vapour to cook the food in a close cooking vessel. Thus, no oil will be required in order to cook the food.

It is a wrong perception that all the food prepared using steaming will be tasteless, bland and to limited way on preparation. In fact, steaming can be as tasteful as any other cooking methods if proper ingredients, garnishing and seasoning is being used. Not only that, steaming can also be used for wide range of food, ranging from fish and shellfish to vegetables, poultry and even some exotic food such as tamales. On variation of steaming, they can be stuffed to increase the taste while providing more nutrients to the food.

Below are some tips when doing steaming:

a.) Overcooking is common issue for steaming. This is due to different amount of food required different timing to get the best out of steaming. A general guide of timing is 15-20 minutes at 210 F, depends on type of food and also size.

b.) Wrap the food with foil or heat proof container before placing into the steaming pot. This is to preserve the moisture as well as natural taste of the food.

c.) Cut the meat to smaller pieces and thinner so as the whole portion can be cooked evenly.

d.) Add in flavoring to fish, vegetables or poultry to increase the taste. These include wine, herb and spices as well as some other savory ingredients such as grated ginger and chilli.

e.) Do no over crowd the steamer as you will need some space for steam to circulate around the steamer properly.

f.) For multiple layer of steaming, make sure that fish or meat to be placed at the most bottom layer to avoid drip on other food.

g.) Make sure water is enough for steaming. For steaming of 15 minutes, it is best to add in at least 3 bowl of water.

Steam Chicken With Ginger and Mushroom

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 45 min
Yields: 4


  • 25 oz boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/4 inch strips
  • 1 small can sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dry sherry
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp sliced ginger
  • 1 big green anion, sliced
  • pepper, to taste
  1. Heat up water in steamer.
  2. Mix all ingredients except anion, ginger, mushroom and chicken in a bowl and stir well.
  3. Place chicken strips in steamer bowl. Pour in the sauce mixture, mix well and let it marinated until steamer water is boiling.
  4. Surround chicken pieces with mushrooms, ginger and green onion over all.
  5. Steam over boiling water for 20 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.
Nutrition Facts
Calories 280
Calories from Fat90
% Daily Value *
Fat 10 g15%
Carbohydrates 12 g4%
Fiber 2 g8%
Protein 32 g64%
Cholesterol 99 mg33%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
5 stars from 1 rating of Chicken recipes


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    • bjtutu profile image

      bjtutu 5 years ago from Malaysia

      Thanks for the comment. Just do the try and error for different thickness, you'll find one which suites you needs. After all, when testing recipes, we don't necessarily need to follow exactly as it is. Give a try. Above recipe is asian style cooking. Hope you'll try it and let me know how it turns out for you if you ever want to try it.

    • SandyMcCollum profile image

      SandyMcCollum 5 years ago

      I love this article! I have had terrible experiences trying to steam too many things, or things of different thicknesses. I learned something today, thanks again!