Pelican Water Systems - Blog Home

Steaming vs. Boiling: Which is Better?

Steaming and boiling are both basic cooking methods that come up time and time again in the kitchen. Certain foods, primarily vegetables, eggs, and seafood, can be boiled or steamed with seemingly similar results. As many recipes specify while others leave the choice up to you, the question becomes: Which is healthier? Steaming or boiling?

steaming pot and cooking pot

According to a study published in the “Journal of Zhejiang University Science B,” the answer is definitely steaming, as far as vegetables are concerned. Important nutrients including vitamins, glucosinates, and chlorophyll, run the risk of being depleted from vegetables when boiled rather than steamed.

Another study published in the “British Journal of Nutrition” indicates that boiling greens results in folate loss exceeding 50%. With steaming, nutrients remain intact, and the texture of the food isn’t compromised, ultimately resulting in a better overall taste.

Steaming food instead of boiling also uses less energy and water. As the drought in California illustrates, the threats to our climate and way of life are more imminent than we realize. Making adjustments like steaming food now helps cut back on water waste.

Never gave steaming a try? Now’s your chance! This steamed salmon recipe is a delightful alternative to boiling recipes.

Steamed Salmon with Savory Black Bean Sauce

If you don’t own a steamer for this recipe, you can utilize a rounded cooling rack to support the plate in a skillet or wok. This recipe makes four servings.


  • 2 dried wood ear mushrooms
  • 4 (6 oz.) salmon fillets, skinned
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ⅛ ground white pepper
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • ½ cup thinly spiced green onions
  • 2 TB. black bean sauce
  • 1 TB minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. dark sesame oil
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, thinly sliced
  • 3 TB sake (rice wine)


Soak the mushrooms in hot filtered water for about 20 minutes until they’re soft. Drain the water and cut the mushrooms into thin strips. Cut three, ¾-inch slits into each fillet. Sprinkle a combination of the salt, pepper, and cornstarch over the fillets. After 10 minutes, stuff the green onions and the mushroom strips into the fillet slits.

Place the fillets into a 9-inch pie plate. Combine the remaining ingredients with the sake and pour evenly over the fillets. Place a steamer basket into a large wok. Add Pelican filtered water to the wok at a depth of 1½ inches below the basket. Bring the water to a boil, and place the pie plate into the steamer basket at the bottom. Cover the dish and steam for 8 minutes or until the fillets flake easily when tested with a fork.

To ensure the food is as healthy and tasty as possible, use filtered Pelican Water whenever you tackle these steaming recipes. Filtered water ensures your seafood, produce, and proteins are all fresh and refreshing. Install a whole house filtration system today to purify water even before the point of entry.

Pelican Combo System Salt-Free Water Softener Whole-House Water Filter