It is definitely the most beautiful thing in my kitchen: my bamboo steamer. It is beautiful and it does magic as well...steam magic! I didn't know anything about steaming food before coming to China, absolutely nothing. But food steaming has a very long tradition here, probably couple of thousands years (when it comes to China almost anything you talk about is thousands-of-years).
So to learn how to use my bamboo steamer I got my self a book called "Steamed-food & cooking". This tiny book with 20 pages explains how steamer works and has 23 recipes from China, Japan ans South-East Asia. I have tried many of them and although it was first time I used bamboo steamer it worked excellent.
I also tried to steam western type of bread and it worked quite nice. You can see how exactly the same bread looks different when steamed and when baked.
The great thing about steaming bread in a bamboo steamer is its lid. As the lid is made of bamboo water does not condensate and drop on the food that is being steamed, so it is perfect for steaming bread and cakes.