Bamboo Steamer Salmon + Summer Vegetables

Bamboo Steamer Salmon + Summer Vegetables

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The Final Product

As much as I like complicated food or greasy food, sometimes I actually crave steamed fish and veggies.  During my second pregnancy, I ate a bacon jalapeno cheeseburger with onion rings every single day for about 2 months, and that is not an exaggeration.  It was the only thing I would eat all day, and the only thing I really wanted.  Then about 3 weeks before Beau was born, I felt sick to my stomach.  Like, even though I needed all those calories, I just did not want any more greasy, spicy food.  That’s when I started making foil steam packets with fish. 

After I got Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook “It’s All Good,” I added a bamboo steamer to my Amazon wish list.  I had never really given one much thought before, or maybe I didn’t even know what it was.  Even though I make steam packets in the oven with tinfoil, I liked the idea of doing it on the stove. 

The steamer is really easy to use.  I got it here on Amazon.  You can line your steamer with parchment paper, but I use these pre-cut sheets (also here on Amazon).  Finally I got a steam ring (Amazon).  You just fit it over a small to medium pot full of water.  The bamboo steamer fits on top.  My steamer is 2 tiered, so you can do an individual meal in both.  You can also just use one tier at a time if you want.  Most steamers are 10 inches, but you should make sure the ring and parchment sheets are meant for a 10 inch steamer.

Yum! That time I mixed up the salmon and mushrooms with shallot, grape tomatoes, and avocado…

I love salmon.  It’s my favorite fish.  I like it grilled, seared, roasted, and raw.  But my favorite way is steamed with dill and lemon.  It is so simple, and it flakes off and tastes so clean and buttery.  You can serve this plain (like I did), or serve it over a portion of Gwyneth’s Perfectly Cooked Brown Rice.

I feel lucky to live by the ocean and have a really good fish store a mile from my house because it makes the meal much better.  You really should use fresh fish and seasonal vegetables for this.  Since it is so simple, it’s important to have the few ingredients taste really really good and fresh.  If you are cooking this in the spring, cook it with spring vegetables.  I made this in August, so I’m using summer vegetables.  Just go with the season.

I haven’t gotten very adventurous yet, but I have seen recipes for boiling eggs in them.  And of course, you can do lots of Chinese food in them like dumplings and buns.  I’m excited to try something a little more complicated and exotic next time.  But for now, the salmon turned out just perfectly.


Total Time: 35 minutes

Serves 2

Difficulty Level:  Easy

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How I Arranged My Meal



1 pound of very fresh salmon fillets

8 fresh button mushrooms

1 ½ fresh red bell pepper

1 medium zucchini

1 lemon

1 handful of fresh dill


  1. Place a parchment liner in each tier of the bamboo tray.
  2. Remove the skin from the salmon, and divide into 2 equal portions.
  3. Thinly slice the mushrooms and place around 1/3 the perimeter of each tray. Repeat with the bell pepper and the zucchini.
  4. Place the salmon in the center on the tray. Top each piece with lots of dill and several lemon slices.
  5. Fill a medium sized pot with water, and place the steam ring on top.
    bamboo salmon 2
    The completed steamer on the ring and boiling water.

    Place the Stacked up bamboo tray, lid on, on top of the ring.  Bring to a boil, and cook for 20-22 minutes.  Check once or twice for doneness of vegetables.

  6. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes before serving. Serve either by itself or over Perfectly Cooked Brown Rice –with another squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper, soy sauce, or sriracha sauce.