Healthy Asian Dinner at Home with a Bamboo Steamer

I love my bamboo steamer although I don’t get to use it much, until tonight. A visit to the Asian grocery store got us enough to have a complete meal that could be steamed.

For starters I got the usual baby bok choy, and it proved to be the best bunch we ever had: not too big, leaves were deep green, and the fat white stalks were sweet and juicy. I’m surprised it is not as popular among health food nuts as it should be. One cup is only 9 calories yet it provides 100 percent of vitamin A, 252 mg of potassium, 105 mg of calcium. Best of all it’s low fat (less than 1 percent), low carb (less than 1 percent), low salt (2 percent) and cholesterol free.

RECIPE: Baby Bok Choy with Braised Shiitake Mushrooms

Because we miss our favorite dumpling restaurants in Asia, I also bought green tea Japanese noodles. It is not as green as the ones we liked, and I might have overcooked it in the boiling process – but it was still tasty when fried with toasted garlic. Then we had separate dumplings – my husband likes his pork gyoza or pot stickers fried and was not interested in my beef siomai. Had I known that I would have picked shrimp siomai at the store, because he’s allergic to it. So here’s our dinner, just 346 calories but tasty and satisfying.

You can buy bamboo steamers in Asian grocery stores. They are great as you can steam several vegetables and dishes at one time because the baskets fit on top of each other. I have the three-layer kind, so I put the frozen dumplings in the bottom and the veggies on top then set it over a 10′ pan with boiling water. It was done in less than 8 minutes. Most of the time I only need to use one basket for steaming vegetables, and it only takes 3 minutes.


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