(Last Updated On: March 9, 2022)

How to Use a Bamboo Steamer

Bamboo steamers have a long history throughout Asia, and most specifically in Chinese cooking.They are not only used in restaurants and for dim sum, but also used in homes to make cooking quick and easy. As the name suggests, these steamers are made from bamboo and easily stackable for cooking larger quantities of food. We use one in our house and love how much time it saves us! We quickly steam layers of veggies, dumplings and other foods on a whim or for meal prep.

Watch this quick video on how we use the steamer to cook veggies, and scroll down below for more detailed tips on using the steamer.


What Can I Cook in a Bamboo Steamer?

You can use a bamboo steamer to steam vegetables, dumplings and even rice (although I haven’t tried the rice yet). I put slower cooking veggies or foods in the bottom tier of the steamer because those will cook faster.

Do I Have to Use Liners on the Baskets?

  • You can place vegetables directly on the slats. Liners just make the clean up process easier and keep things from sticking, such as dumplings or buns.
  • You can use lettuce, cabbage leaves, banana leaves. To keep this eco-friendly, we steer clear of using parchment paper and I am still looking for reusable liners to reduce any waste.
  • Be sure to keep some open space on the slats so the food so steam can rise up from the bottom (don’t cover the entire basket bottoms with the liner).
  • Some people also put food on small plates and place the plates right on the slats to cook!

Where Do I Find a Bamboo Steamer?

There are a range prices for baskets. but in general they are very inexpensive. Ours was around $10 USD at the Asian grocery store. You can also find them online We have one similar to this. You can get them in 10″ sizes like ours, or smaller.

Is it Difficult to Clean?

Nope! Just a little bit of warm water and a gentle scrub will do it. You can use a little soapy water if needed as well. Allow them to air dry completely before storing. It is not dishwasher safe so avoid that.