How Can I Steam Dumplings Without a Bamboo Steamer?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Q: Recently i’ve been craving Asian dumplings and thinking about trying my hand at making some. I know they need to be steamed, but I don’t have a bamboo steamer.

Is there another way I can steam without having to buy one? I do have one of those flower-shaped folding steamer baskets.

Sent by Rebecca

Editor: Rebecca, yes, absolutely. First of all, if you want to steam the dumplings only, then yes, you can use the metal steamer basket. Be warned though that the dumplings will want to stick, so spray it very thoroughly with olive oil or baking spray. You can also line it with lettuce or cabbage leaves.

But, having said that, lots of dumplings aren’t steamed in the baskets at all. Many dumplings are pan fried, then steamed by just putting a lid on the pan, with a little water inside to cook them. Take a look at this recipe for dumplings to see the whole process.

Readers, do you have other tips for cooking dumplings, or ideas for a makeshift steamer?

(Image: Faith Durand)