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How to cook rice in bamboo steamer

Popular in Asian countries is the method of cooking rice by steaming. The process produces perfectly cooked rice, but it can be time-consuming. Because steaming reduces some of the rice’s natural stickiness, it is frequently the preferred cooking method for glutinous or sticky rice. When sticky rice is prepared by boiling or absorption, it tends to clump together and form a large mass. It can be challenging to consume in this form as a side dish. 

Numerous techniques for steaming rice have been developed in various regions of the world. Rice must be washed before nearly all cooking methods to remove some of the starch and make the cooked rice less sticky. It is also advantageous to soak the rice or cook it briefly in boiling water before steaming, as steaming alone is frequently insufficient to cook rice to the desired doneness. 

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as of September 20, 2023 4:52 pm
as of September 20, 2023 4:52 pm
as of September 20, 2023 4:52 pm
as of September 20, 2023 4:52 pm
as of September 20, 2023 4:52 pm
Last updated on September 20, 2023 4:52 pm

What is a bamboo steamer? 

Several interlocking bamboo baskets are stacked on top of one another to form bamboo steamers. There is a vessel. What constitutes a Bamboo Steamer? (Filled with simmering water) beneath the entire arrangement. The open ridges at the bottom of each basket allow steam to rise and cook the rice within the steamer. 

You might find it excessive to investigate a bamboo steamer, and you might also believe that a bamboo steamer is not an essential cooking tool. However, once you have mastered how to steam rice in a bamboo steamer, you will use it more frequently than you may have anticipated. 

This method of cooking, steaming, is as popular in Asian cuisine as roasting and baking are in European and American cuisines. 

Using a bamboo steamer, you can steam various foods, including rice, dumplings, buns, vegetables, bread, cakes, proteins, and more. Steaming is an effective method for cooking and reheating food. Since steaming helps reintroduce moisture to food, it is simple to revive its freshness. 

The lids of bamboo steamers do not collect condensation, which would otherwise drip into the food and alter its appearance, flavor, and texture. 

Why Use a Bamboo Steamer for Rice? 

If you are among those who ask, “Why is steamed rice an option for me?” then you will find the answers here. 

Suppose you do not own a rice cooker because you do not cook rice frequently enough to justify the purchase. Or perhaps you have a rice cooker but must cook on the stove due to a power outage. 

As the liquid does not meet the food during steaming, the risk of overcooking is reduced. 

Steaming rice in a bamboo steamer is a healthier alternative to boiling. Why? Since water-soluble nutrients will not leach from your food into your drinking water. 

How to cook rice in bamboo steamer 

Using a bamboo steamer to steam rice is a popular (especially in Asia) and simple (though time-consuming) method for cooking rice. Follow the instructions below to steam rice in this manner. 

  •  Rinse 1½ to 2 cups of sticky rice with cold water, then soak it in cold water for several hours. 
  • After the period of soaking, drain the rice. 
  • Line a bamboo basket with a steaming cloth that is damp. 
  • Place the presoaked and drained glutinous rice in the lined basket and place a second cloth on top. 
  • Place the lid on the basket and fold and drape the excess fabric over the lid’s top. 
  • Place the rice basket in a large shallow saucepan containing boiling water. A wok is an excellent cooking vessel. The water level should not exceed half an inch on the exterior of the bamboo steamer. 
  • Cook for roughly thirty minutes. Additional water must be added as the water in the pan evaporates during the steaming process to maintain the proper level. In contrast to the absorption method, steamed rice must be monitored frequently to ensure that it does not become too dry; therefore, remove the lid periodically and check the rice, but replace it as soon as possible. 
  • When the rice has reached the desired degree of doneness, fluff it with a fork before serving. 

How to Add More Interest to Steamed Rice 

Do you wish to add variety to your steamed rice? Here are some helpful suggestions for enhancing the flavor of rice. 

  • Use coconut milk or tea to steam your rice instead of water. It will enhance the flavor and aroma. 
  • Add a small amount of water and salt to the water if you are using water. 
  • For more umami, go for vegetable, pork, chicken, or mushroom stock. 
  • Adding spices, tomato, fried onions, or any other flavor you desire will enhance the flavor of your rice. 

Care Instructions For Your Bamboo Steamer 

It is always essential to keep your bamboo steamer clean. Proper maintenance and cleaning will extend the life of your steamer. As bamboo is an organic material, cleaning your bamboo steamer with organic products is an option. 

Here’s how to properly clean your bamboo steamer: 

Using Lemon 

Avoid using cleaning agents that are too abrasive when cleaning your bamboo steamer. And then what? Lemon is not too abrasive and has a pleasant aroma. In addition, lemon is an effective disinfectant for dishware. 

Lemon makes cleaning a bamboo steamer relatively simple. You only need to use a lemon slice and a rubbing motion to clean your bamboo steamer. Lastly, rinse the steamer with clean water and examine its cleanliness. 

Using a Tea 

Here is yet another effective method for cleaning your bamboo steamer. First, grab a black tea. Then, steep the tea in a bowl of hot water. Once the teabag has been soaked, rub it gently on the bamboo steamer. 

It effectively eliminates food and bacteria. Using warm water to rinse your bamboo steamer will remove any remaining tea or other unwanted residues. 

Using Nylon Brush 

Please don’t disregard this method because it’s outdated. Occasionally, it is possible to return to the traditional way of scrubbing. However, ensure that you use a soft nylon brush, as bamboo steamers are fragile. 

To accomplish this, the bamboo must first be steamed. It will ensure that your bamboo steamer is thoroughly cleaned. Then, obtain a bowl of hot, soapy water and a nylon brush with soft bristles. Finally, rinse the bamboo steamer with cold water. Before using, ensure there is no soapy water remaining in the steamer. 

How to cook rice in bamboo steamer – FAQs

It depends on the type of rice you intend to steam. However, the standard ratio is two cups of water to one cup of rice. 

Place the rice in a bamboo steamer and steam for approximately 20 minutes. The rice should be thoroughly cooked, with no uncooked grains in the center. Turn off the heat and continue to steam the rice with the lid on. In a saucepan, heat the remaining ingredients over medium heat for two minutes. 

However, the ideal ratio for regular long-grain white rice is two parts waters to one part rice. Fill the water reservoir of the steamer: Fill the rice steamer’s water reservoir to its maximum capacity. 

Soak the glutinous rice overnight in water, then drain. Roll each banana leaf into a cigar-like shape and line the interior of each bamboo tube with the banana leaves. Add the rice to the bamboo carefully, then seal the open end with a banana leaf and string. I turn the rice frequently for ten minutes on a charcoal grill over medium heat. 

The bamboo steamer must fit snugly within the pot to prevent steam from escaping around the sides. Rice is steamed for approximately 35 minutes while water is added as it evaporates. Remove the steamer and flip the rice with a wooden spoon. 

When steaming items that may stick to the bottom, I line bamboo steamers and pots with steamers with perforated paper liners: Siu Mai dumplings and steamed Chinese pork buns. I do not use a steamer liner when cooking vegetables because it is unnecessary. After all, they do not stick. 

You can steam dumplings, vegetables, fish fillets, chicken, sticky rice, and even reheat food in a bamboo steamer. Follow these instructions for using a bamboo steamer: Prepare a pan with a rim. You may use any rimmed pan, including a saucepan or a wok. 

To line a bamboo or stainless-steel steamer or steaming basket, you will need baking paper, also known as parchment paper. Use one of superior quality, such as Multix or Glad. The low-quality paper will shred or tear easily. 

For perfectly steamed basmati rice, the rice must be cooked in a combination of boiling and steaming. As a result of the lower starch content, you will obtain the beautiful, separate grains of rice that basmati rice is renowned for. 

Using steam to cook your vegetables and other foods is a gentler option. If you are a health-conscious cook, steaming healthy foods will help preserve their vitamins and minerals. There are additional health benefits to using a bamboo steamer to prepare food. 

No, bamboo steamers are non-toxic due to their natural composition. However, remember that the adhesives used to hold them together may make them unsafe for specific individuals. Overall, bamboo steamers are still healthier than metal or plastic alternatives. 

The tightly woven lid of bamboo steamers prevents steam from escaping. Bamboo absorbs some excess moisture during cooking, preventing the steam from condensing back into water and dripping back onto your food. 


Hopefully, you completely understand how to steam rice in a bamboo steamer. It is not a struggle to complete the task. You can easily make it happen by carefully following our instructions. 

Always use a potholder when removing the lid, as this is an essential point. It will prevent you from becoming scorched or burned. Additionally, maintain a minimum distance from hot water to avoid unintended events. 

Good luck! 

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