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Chef Steve: Steaming Foods


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    To help lower my high cholesterol my wife and I have taken to steaming a lot of our food. The problem is, it’s boring when compared to the foods my doctor has taken off my favorites list. Any suggestions?


    Steaming food does not have to be boring at all. Of course there is no substitute for the crispy caramelized crust of a roast or golden brown cheesy topping of a casserole dish, but it can be overcome by the ingredients that are used to steam and how they are handled. I always enjoy the Asian method of “clear steaming.” This involves using fragrant ingredients layered on top of whatever main ingredient you choose to cook.

    For example, try a piece of chicken or fish topped with grated ginger, sliced hot chilies, and cilantro. There is nothing like fresh halibut or salmon, shrimp, or scallops with basil and lemongrass tossed in before steaming. It’s okay to drizzle a bit of low-sodium soy sauce or tamari and dark-roasted sesame oil before eating. You’ll find you can’t really go wrong with any of these options, so give them a try and see what you like.

Chef Steve Petusevsky, a graduate and former instructor of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, is a nationally syndicated columnist whose writing appears in Natural Health, Fine Cooking,the Los Angeles Times, Food & Wine, andthe Chicago Tribune.

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