Cooking Methods: Using a steamer
Steamed food should be well seasoned with flavourings such as herbs, spices, lemon juice or black pepper, or it may taste rather bland. Avoid adding salt before cooking, however, as it will draw out moisture and flavour.
Cut foods into evenly sized pieces so that they cook at the same rate.
Keep a check on the liquid
Keep the steaming liquid at boiling point all the time, and top it up with boiling water whenever necessary. This is especially important if you’re steaming a pudding for hours – the pan may boil dry if not filled up occasionally.
This old-fashioned method is the best way to steam fish: place fillets of fish between two Pyrex plates with a knob of butter or a sprinkling of herbs for flavour. Balance the plates on top of a pan of boiling water. The fish will cook in the steam produced by its own moisture. Cooking time is usually between five and 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets and the type of fish.
• If you’re boiling carrots, potatoes or other vegetables at the same time as steaming the fish, do the fish over the vegetable pan to save energy.
• Check fish frequently during steaming to prevent overcooking.