Unlike an electric food steamer, a bamboo steamer isn’t a big investment. They actually cost only a few euros. However, they aren’t all that easy to find. They aren't available at large retailers. You may need to go to a specialty Asian (Oriental) grocery store. Bamboo steamers come in several different sizes. Choose what is suitable for the saucepan you plan to use. The diameter of the steamer should be a little smaller than that of the pan. The steamer has to fit exactly into the pan in order to keep the steam inside. Think about buying a few, because you can stack up to three at a time. But no more than that, because the food in the top baskets won’t cook well.

You can use a bamboo steamer to cook vegetables, fish, and meat. You can also make steamed dumplings.

When steaming meat or fish, you can lightly oil the bottom of the steamer before putting the food inside. This will prevent sticking. To preserve their texture, cut them into small pieces beforehand. You can also cover the bottom of the steamer with a few spinach or lettuce leaves. These won’t stop the steam from passing through, but will prevent the food from becoming mushy when taken out.

As with an electric food steamer, it is recommended that the food is cut into uniform pieces for even cooking. Heat water in a saucepan. Don't boil too much water, because the boiling water shouldn’t splash the steamer or the food when cooking. Put the food that takes longest to cook in the lower steamer. For example, it’s better to put carrots in the lower steamer and fish, which is more delicate, in the top steamer.