The most famous kind of bamboo steamers are used in Chinese cuisine and date back to 5,000 years in Southern China. They are produced by removing the skin from the bamboo, soaking it in water, shaping it into a circle, and hammering it in with nails. The base is made up of woven bamboo strips, and production can take anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours depending on its size.
Bamboo steamers have become prominent to the Western world for its role in cooking and serving dim sum, particularly during the practice of yum cha. They are designed to be stacked on top of each other so that the steam can cook many different servings simultaneously, as well as fit on the table (often on a Lazy Susan) while being served.
Dim sum in Shanghai served in bamboo steamers
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