You have probably seen Seiro steamers when you order steamed dumplings in Chinese restaurants.
Did you know the Seiro steamer is an intelligent cookware that can retain food's natural flavors?
In this article, we will talk about these outstanding "Seiro steamers" and how you can use them at home.
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What is a Seiro steamer?
"Seiro" is a type of steamer made of weaved bamboo or trees.
Placing a Seiro steamer over a pot of simmering water, the steam rises and cooks the food.
Steaming with a Seiro steamer allows the nutrients, flavors and aromas of the food to retain. It also adds the fragrances of bamboo, Japanese cedar or Hinoki (Japanese cypress) to the food, making it more appetizing.
There are two types of Seiro steamers: Chinese-style one and Japanese-style one.
The Japanese-style Seiro steamer has a detachable perforated bottom, while the Chinese-style one has a bottom attached to the basket. Although there is a slight difference in design, they both work in the same way.
How to use a Seiro steamer
Seiro steamers are an easy-to-use cookware that doesn't require special skills or knowledge. Anyone can use it easily at home.
However, there are few things to take into account. We will share with you the basics that you should know when cooking with Seiro steamers.
1. Soak the Seiro steamer
Soak the Seiro steamer and the lid with water before using it. This simple step prevents the steamer from getting burn marks. It also prevents deformation that can occur when the temperature changes suddenly.
2. Place the Seiro steamer over a pot
After you have soaked your steamer, place it over a pot with water inside.
You can place it over the rim of a pot when it can rest safely. If the pot is larger than the steamer, place a steamer ring on the bottom of the pot and place the steamer on top of it.
3. Place foods
After placing the Seiro steamer over the pot, you will now place foods inside the steamer.
If you are steaming meat, fish or other foods with grease, we recommend you to place them on top of vegetable leaves such as cabbage or napa cabbage, so the smell of the food won't transfer to the steamer. You can also use a piece of parchment paper or cheesecloth.
If you don't have any of those items at home, you can place a heat-resistant plate as well.
4. Steam the foods
Once you have placed the foods inside the Seiro steamer that is placed over a pot, turn on the heat to bring the water to boil. When the water is simmering, turn down the heat to low heat or to medium heat.
If you are cooking root vegetables such as potatoes or pumpkins that take time to cook, you need to steam them for about 10 minutes. It will take about 8 minutes to cook broccoli. The cooking time varies for meat and fish, depending on how thick the pieces are. It will take about 5 to 10 minutes to cook the average sized sliced fish such as mackerel, horse mackerel or sea bream.
If you want your foods to be well-cooked, steam it for about 20 minutes.
When you place a Seiro steamer without soaking it or placing it directly inside a pot, the part of the pot touching the steamer might leave burn marks. That's why we recommend you to soak it with water before using it or to use a steamer ring when you place it inside a pot.
How to take care and store Seiro steamers
Clean Seiro steamers by wiping it with a dry cloth without using dish soap after each use. If the food is stuck on your steamer, scrub the surface with a scrub brush and rinse it with water.
After washing it, dry it thoroughly to prevent mold.
Avoid placing Seiro steamers under direct sunlight when you dry. It can cause the material to shrink which can lead to creating cracks, deforming or damaging the steamer.
Enjoy the tasty food cooked with a Seiro steamer
Cooking food with a Seiro steamer is a great way to retain its nutrients. On top of that, the food tastes great when it is steamed.
Since it is so easy to use, it's a great tool to implement at home to improve your diet as well as your overall quality of life.
In this article, we shared the basics of Seiro steamers and how to use them.
We hope you will try it at your home and see how amazing they are.