Edited by Liv Wan.
When most people think about “steamed food” they usually think of “boring and tasteless food”. But you may be surprised steaming is one of the three main cooking techniques used in Chinese cuisine. Properly steamed foods and recipes in Chinese cooking are absolutely delicious and full of flavour.
One of my family’s favourite steamed food recipes is Fen Jen Ro (Steamed Pork Belly In Rice Powder).
It taste amazing with so much flavour in it. Literally whenever I ask my husband what he would like to eat, at least 50% of the time he will say Fen Jen Ro.
Here are a collection of recipes where the food is cooked by steaming. You can steam food with a food steamer, rice cooker or bamboo steamer.
Appetizers and Dim Sum Snacks:
Pearl meatballs are a classic Chinese banquet and party appetizer.
Fresh watercress absorbs the flavor of the seasoned beef balls during steaming in this recipe from Evelyn Chau.
This delicious Chinese steamed pork buns is a very popular dish in dim sum restaurant.
Chinese dried shiitake mushrooms add an earthy flavour to this easy to make steamed chicken dish. A good choice for family meals.
Hua Juan, or Flower Rolls, are a very popular variation of steamed buns in the more northern regions of China.
Shaped like a delicate Chinese flower, these buns can be steamed and then served alongside any of your favourite Chinese dishes. Otherwise you can have this bun in the morning as breakfast roll.
Har Gow are those tasty shrimp dumplings with the translucent wrappers served at Chinese dim sum.
The main trick to making Har Gow is handling the dough. Which is very sticky and can break apart easily. Coating the work area and equipment with vegetable oil helps.
This popular dim sum dish is made by steaming lotus leaves filled with sticky rice, Chinese sausages, and other vegetables.
These delicious dumplings are steamed on one side and then pan-fried on the other.
Delicious shu mai dumplings with pork and shrimp filling.
Delicious and authentic prawn and scallop shumai perfect for seafood lovers!
This is a basic and simple recipe for making the steamed bun dough used in Char Siu Buns.
Steamed Tofu with fish
This recipe for steamed tofu with fish comes from Chef Teresa Lin, best known as the food designer on the film “Eat Drink Man Woman”.
Main Meal and Side Dishes:
Delicious and full of flavour dish. This is a classic Chinese dish.
Asian Steamed Fish (Video)
Honey Ham With Asian Pears
This sweet and savory dish is popular in south-west China.
Steamed Eggplant With Asian Dressing
The key Ingredient in the dressing is red rice winegar, available at Asian/Chinese markets.
Brown sugar balances the tartness of the lemon in this popular dish.
Steamed Meat Cake
This steamed cake goes very nicely with congee or rice. Pickled lettuce, available in cans or jars in Chinese/Asian markets.
Cookbook author Stephen Wong writes: Instead of custard, the Chinese call this country dish “a meat cake” and steam it over the cooking rice to conserve energy.
This steamed egg with seafood recipe is a very quick and easy dish to prepare and it’s commonly prepared in Taiwanese households. It was also one of my favourite dishes when I was young.
Steamed Trout with Black Bean Sauce
A pungent sauce made with Chinese fermented black beans permeates and enhances the flavour of the steamed fish in this simple dish.
Be sure to spoon the leftover sauce over the steamed fish when serving. The recipe can easily be doubled.
Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls
This recipe calls for vegetarian oyster sauce, flavoured with mushrooms instead of oyster and it’s available in Asian/Chinese supermarket.
Dessert and Festive Recipes:
Coconut milk, cream and cinnamon make a rice topping for steamed bananas. Feel free to add other Asian fruit, such as mangoes or starfruit.
Chinese turnip cake is one of the most popular dishes in dim sum and is a must have Chinese New Year dish.
Chinese New Year Steamed Fruit Cake
This New Year dish is traditionally fed to the Chinese Kitchen God, so that he will give a favorable report on the family’s behavior throughout the previous year when he returns to heaven.
One of the most popular Chinese New Year desserts in Chinese and Taiwanese cooking is nian gao. The two most popular nian gao are red bean sweet nian gao and brown sugar nian gao.