When it comes to healthy cooking techniques, steaming reigns supreme. It’s little wonder it’s one of the most popular cooking methods across Asia. Whether you’re steaming a batch of dumplings, steaming tofu and Asian greens vegetables to drizzle with oyster sauce, or steaming a whole fish to take pride of place at your next dinner party, steaming promises to lock in the flavour and nutrients of your favourite foods. Here are five reasons why steaming is the healthiest cooking method.
Have you ever boiled carrots or broccoli and looked at the water that remains? Notice that it’s taken on an orange or green tinge? Those colours represent some of the vitamins and nutrients that have been leeched from your vegies during the cooking process. With steaming, those nutrients are sealed in, so you know you’re getting the best out of your produce.
When you pan-fry, bake or grill your meats, the cholesterol from the fat is absorbed back in to the meat. Not so with steaming, which actually drains that cholesterol-laden fat away from the meat.
As much as we love raw vegetables, the fibre in uncooked ingredients can be harder to digest for some. In fact, many doctors of traditional Chinese medicine will encourage you to eat more warm and cooked foods. Steaming softens those tough fibres, making digestion a breeze.
As you don’t need to add any oil or butter to the pan, you’re already off to a flying start in the fat departmentwhen compared to frying.
OK, so this one’s not a health benefit as such, but anything that reduces stress is good by us! Steaming is quick, easy and generally only requires one piece of equipment, saving you time in the kitchen and adding to your sense of overall wellbeing.
For more steaming inspiration,read our tips on cooking with a bamboo steamer.
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