Bamboo steamers are an essential part of Asian cuisine, known for their ability to preserve the integrity, taste, and nutrition of the food being cooked.
Below are three delightful recipes that you can try using a bamboo steamer.
Kung Fu Panda Chicken Dumplings
These dumplings, which take their inspiration from the well-known movie Kung Fu Panda, have a flavorful chicken filling inside homemade wrappers.
For the Wrapper:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (maida)
- 1/2–3/4 cups very hot water (approx.)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
- Extra flour for dusting
For the Filling:
- 250 grams of boneless chicken, ground
- 7–8 stalks spring onions, finely chopped
- 4 sprigs coriander leaves, finely chopped
- 1-inch piece of ginger, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 2 green chilies, finely minced
- 1 egg
- A little pinch of salt
- 2-3 leaves of cabbage for lining the steamer
- In a bowl, add flour, salt, and 1 teaspoon of oil. Pour in hot water and mix well. Knead the dough for 3–4 minutes until soft and pliable. Apply 1/2 teaspoon of oil on the dough to prevent it from drying out. Refrigerate the dough overnight and let it come to room temperature before using.
- Mix all the filling ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
- Dust your work surface with flour and roll out the dough into thin sheets. Cut small rounds from them and set them aside. Cover the wrappers with parchment paper or cling wrap to prevent them from sticking together.
- Place 1 tablespoon of filling on each dumpling wrapper. Pleat the dough to form dumplings.
- Line a bamboo steamer with cabbage leaves. Place the dumplings in the steamer, ensuring they do not touch each other.
- Steam the dumplings for 12 minutes and serve hot.
Steamed Vegetable Dumplings
These dumplings, filled with a medley of fresh vegetables, are a healthy and delightful option for dinner.
- 2 green onions, finely diced
- 1 ½ cups of Lombok, finely sliced
- 1 small carrot, finely chopped
- 50 g of mushrooms, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon of sweet chili sauce
- 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
- 20 fresh wonton wrappers
- In a large frying pan, heat the sesame oil and cook the garlic, spring onions, wombok, carrot, and mushrooms over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until vegetables are cooked.
- Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl and stir in the soy sauce and sweet chili sauce. Let the mixture cool in the fridge.
- Arrange wonton wrappers on a bench. Spoon approximately 2 teaspoons of the vegetable mixture into the center of each wrapper. Lift the sides of the wrapper, twist to enclose, and repeat until all the mixture is used.
- Line the base of a large bamboo steamer with baking paper. Place the dumplings in the steamer in a single layer.
- Fill a wok (or large saucepan) with water until it's about ⅓ full and bring it to a boil. Place the steamer over the wok, ensuring the water doesn't touch the base. Steam the dumplings for 10–15 minutes, or until the wrappers become translucent.
Steamed Vegetable Buns
These vegan buns are filled with a delectable mix of bok choy, mushrooms, and dried bean curd.
For the Filling:
- 1 pound baby bok choy, washed thoroughly
- 8 fresh shiitake mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 4 ounces dried bean curd (115g)
- 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
- ½ teaspoons of sugar
- ½ tablespoons sesame oil
- ⅛ teaspoon ground white pepper
- Salt to taste
For the Dough:
- ¾ cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast (3 grams)
- 1 tablespoon sugar (granulated, 15 grams)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (plus 1 teaspoon, divided)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (300 grams)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch (20 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
Making the Filling:
- Prepare a pot of boiling water and an ice bath. Blanch the bok choy for 10 seconds in two separate batches. Transfer the bok choy to the ice bath. Strain and squeeze out as much water as possible.
- Chop the bok choy and mushrooms finely. Cook mushrooms in a wok with 2 tablespoons of oil until fragrant. Cool completely.
- Finely chop the dried bean curd. Mix with the bok choy, mushrooms, 1 tablespoon of oil, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and white pepper. Chill in the refrigerator.
Making the Dough:
- In a bowl, whisk together water, yeast, and sugar. Let it sit until the yeast blooms (about 15 minutes). Stir in 1 tablespoon of oil.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. Stir in the yeast mixture and knead until the dough is smooth and soft. Adjust with flour or water as needed.
- Brush the dough with 1 teaspoon of oil and cover it with plastic wrap. Let it rise until it has doubled in size (about 1 hour).
Assembling and Cooking the Buns:
- Punch down the risen dough, knead it to remove air bubbles, and divide it into 14 equal portions.
- Roll out each portion into a 4-inch circle, thicker at the center. Add 2½ tablespoons of filling to the center and pleat and twist to close the bun. Place each bun on a parchment square.
- Arrange buns in a bamboo steamer with 1 cm clearance on all sides. Let them rest for 20 minutes.
- Place the steamer over boiling water, reduce heat to medium, and steam for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the buns rest for 5 minutes before removing the cover.
These buns can be enjoyed immediately or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. Reheat in the microwave or re-steam for about 6-8 minutes.
With these three bamboo steamer recipes, you can enjoy the authentic flavors of Asian cuisine right at home. Happy steaming!
Hi there, I’m Sam Billings, and I’m all about sustainability. Running a printing business is my thing, but my real passion is preserving nature. That’s why I run the Live Health blog, where I focus on Bamboo plants and their eco-friendly goodness.