If you aspire to a cooking style that focuses on clean eating, simple and direct flavors, and ingredients bright with vitality – a good steamer is indispensable. It’s the sort of cooking vessel that has the power to not only change the way you approach cooking, but eating in general. Steaming feels a little bit magical–using only water and heat, it’s surprisingly quick and protects both the flavor and texture of ingredients by imparting only the necessary amount of moisture.
We recently traded our traditional stacking bamboo steamer for this modern take. It deploys a number of smart design choices, which takes the set beyond a single-use vessel. A cedar basket with perforated terracotta base smartly absorbs excess moisture while sitting atop a beautifully shaped, fireproof ceramic base. The base easily transitions into a versatile cooking vessel that can handle both stovetop and oven cooking. Steaming aside, the set is perfect for stews and curries, soup, and is even good for roasting. Each set is handmade in Hong Kong using natural materials, and ships with a use and care guide.
The steaming process is simple: fill the base partially with water, top it with the steamer basket and a swath of parchment paper or cabbage leaves, add your ingredients to the basket, set the lid in place, and turn on the heat. We like to steam a variety of ingredients together, beginning with items that take a bit longer to cook, like potatoes and root vegetables, and adding vegetables that need less time, like slender spring onions or asparagus, along the way. It’s a fast cooking method – even the most hearty chunks of root vegetables or squash become tender in ten minutes, often less. You can steam using water, or experiment using miso broth, tea, vegetable broth, or vegetable dashi.
Care: The steamer’s ceramic base and lid should be immersed in clean water for at least 24 hours, and the terracotta basket rinsed with boiled water, before first use. After use, hand wash with mild detergent, then air-dry the pot with bottom facing upward. Make sure it is dry before storing.
- Measures 10 x 10 x 11 inches
- Made in Hong Kong.