Slow Cookers have been back in for a few years now, and why not: it’s an easy way to cook a hearty meal for a family, and with the cost of meat continuing to go up in price, they’re a great way to save money by using cheap cuts.
But did you know that you can use your slow cooker to steam food?
Turns out it’s actually rather easy.
Chef Grant Achatz at Food & Wine explains how:
A slow cooker can double as a bamboo steamer for making dumplings or buns, like the kind I had in Japan. I simply pour a little water or tea into the bottom of the insert, create a rack by layering lemongrass, sliced ginger or banana leaves on top of the liquid, and place the dumplings or buns on top. As they steam, they pick up the perfume of those aromatics. Or, I skip the liquid and simply put down a bed of chopped herbs and lay a piece of fish on it. The herbs release their moisture to slowly steam the fish. That’s a very useful technique for easy, healthy cooking.
Even if you didn’t want to go as far a Grant does, if you had a rack you could place inside your slow cooker bowl, the theory would be the same: steam coming up from the base steaming your food of choice.
I can’t wait to try it on some nice Barramundi fillets and experimenting with various herbs.
But wait, there’s more!
Turns out you can use your slow cooker to steam rice as well.
Rinse the rice in a large bowl filled with water. Swish the rice around in the water to loosen any unwanted particles. Drain the water and repeat a few more times.
Combine the rinsed rice with water, butter and salt in your Crock-Pot. For every 1 cup of rice, use 1 3/4 cups water, 1 tablespoon of butter and a dash of salt.
Close the lid and let the rice cook on High for about 1 1/2 hours, or until all the water is fully absorbed. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.