Steaming is a convenient and healthy way of cooking. It allows to keep more nutrients in food than boiling in water. You can cook by steaming almost everything, and you don't have to limit yourself to vegetables only. What can be cooked this way and for how long?
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During traditional cooking, some part of the precious nutrients stays in the water we pour out.
The products, which are steamed contain higher level of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. The vitamins, which are water-soluble, are the most prone to disappearance. While boiling decreases the level of vitamin C in vegetables by 70%, steaming causes the loss of 40%.
Other advantages of steaming include lack of necessity of adding fat and the possibility of preparing few different products at the same time. Moreover, when steaming, you can achieve higher temperature than during boiling. Thanks to that, the process of cooking is shorter.
Therefore, when using steaming- you can cook for shorter period of time and keep more nutrients. There is also less dishes to wash.
Steaming can be done with the use of a special utensil called steam cooker, but you can also use a special pot designed for such way of cooking, or a simple pot with sieve that you can put on that pot filled with boiling water. I don't recommend any experiments with plastic sieves, because they may lose their shape under the influence of high temperature.
You can cook by steaming vegetables, potatoes and rice. Some vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower fall apart and soak during simple boiling, that's why steaming them is a great alternative. Steaming is also recommended for all kinds of fish.
In order to give better taste to the vegetables or fish, you can add aromatic herbs to the boiling water.
It's possible to cook by steaming eggs and meat. Lean poultry is the best in this case.
Remember to chop the meat in even pieces before steaming.
It takes about 10-20 minutes to cook by steaming chicken breast (the smaller pieces, the shorter time of cooking. You can cook the whole chicken breast in 20 minutes).
Chicken legs require longer time of steaming, about 35-40 minutes.
Pork loin sliced in thin stripes needs about 15 minutes of steaming.
Fish can be steamed very fast, a thin fish fillet is ready after 5-10 minutes. But you should remember not to put one fillet on the other.
Frozen fish fillets have to be cooked longer, about 15 minutes.
Steamed shrimps are ready after 3-5 minutes.