How to Steam Dumplings at Home (Using what you already have)
Steaming your own dumplings at home may seem complicated or intimidating for those who haven't done it before, but it's actually quite easy and can be setup with basic utensils most of us already have in our kitchens. We'll show you various ways to arrange a steamer at home. Remember these are just ideas you can use to see what you have that might work.
Basic Setup: Wok and a Metal Steam Rack
The most typical setup involves using either a pan with high curved sides or a wok. Almost any pan will work as long as it provides enough room (i.e. height) for the metal steam rack, the container you're steaming the food in, and fully closing the lid.
The tabletop stove burner shown below in the picture is optional. A standard kitchen range stove is recommended and allows for faster heating.
Almost Any Size Pot Works Too!
Some of us may not have a wok or pan that is high enough to fit the steam rack and food inside. Don't worry, as almost any size pot with a lid that you have at home will work too. As shown below, all these pots with different diameters and heights would all work fine as a steamer. The bigger the pot, the more dumplings or food you can steam at once. Just remember to use one with a good fitting lid.
Don't have a Steam Rack? Use almost any flat heat-resistant bowl or cup.
You don't need to have a metal steam rack. The important thing to remember is we just want an elevated stand to keep the food above the water at the bottom of the pot/pan. We don't want any of the boiling water accidentally soaking the dumplings or food.
As shown below, we can even use a small Corningware (upper left), glass cup (upper right), or a soup bowl (bottom). Just make sure the bowl or cup that you use as a stand is higher than the amount of water you will put in, that it is heat-resistant enough for boiling water, and has a flat wide top to balance the container to cook your food.
Now Add Water
Be sure to add enough water that you can steam for the amount of time needed without it going dry.
Place your Steam Plate on Top
We've all seen the traditional bamboo steamer used at Asian restaurants. And you may be wondering if it's required. The bamboo steamer looks cool, but it's basic function is just to keep the food and steam in an enclosed space during cooking. Instead of a bamboo steamer, almost any plate you have will work as long as it is heat-resistant enough for steaming and can fit all your dumplings. The enclosed steam space is the whole pot and lid.
Avoid a Sticky Situation
Some dumplings or foods such as those made with rice flour tend to become very sticky when steamed. These dumplings can stick to the plate and become hard to remove. To avoid this issue, place a piece of kitchen grade wax paper or steam paper underneath the dumplings before steaming.
Let's Get Steamy
We're ready to place the dumplings onto the wax paper for steaming. Follow the recommended cooking times on our webpage and use a thermometer to check that the internal temperature has reached at least 165°F.
Still not sure if you're doing it right? Contact us with any questions.