Steaming dim sum in a bamboo steamer is the most authentic method, but it doesn't mean that using another steaming method is wrong! The reason for us including a carrot in your box is because you can use it (and other vegetables) as something for your dumpling to sit on and not get stuck on the steamer surface when you are trying to lift them out.
For the carrot, simply cut them into coins, and use them as base for your dumplings in any steamer. People have also used cabbage leaves or courgettes and it's a much healthier way than using parchment paper, as you can eat it too!
The Traditional Round Bottom Wok Method
This is the age old method our parents and their parents before them used.
Place the bamboo steamer in the wok, and there should be a gap between the base of the wok and the steamer.
Fill this void with water and heat the wok to generate steam.
Make sure that the water level is below the steamer, or you'll end up with a soggier dumpling.
Always monitor the water levels when you are steaming, as the water will evaporate. Top up with boiling water from the kettle.
No Wok? No problem
Flat Pan: You can substitute a wok for another flat based pan, as long as it can fit the steamer. It will mean that you will have a smaller reservoir of water, so you should keep a constant eye on the water levels, and be prepared to keep topping up.
Maverick: We've seen customers do this trick, and it requires constant supervision and care because you are essentially balancing the steamer on top of a boiling pot of water.
Find a pot that is almost as wide as the bamboo basket.
Fill up to halfway with water and bring to boil.
Carefully place the bamboo basket on top of the pan.
Pros - you worry less about water evaporating.
Cons - the basket can get badly burnt on top of the pot, so keep a constant eye. Also, because you are balancing the basket, make sure it doesn't topple over!
No Steamer at all? The Steamer Hack
We can't for the life remember where we found out about this trick, but it's great!
Get some aluminium foil. Make 3 equal sized balls with them, around the size of a ping pong ball.
Find your largest deep pan which has a lid.
Place the 3 balls in a triangle, and lay on top a heat resistant plate (not your finest china! But a ceramic one should be fine).
Fill the pan with water to submerge the metal foils. Keep the water level under the plate.
Place dumplings on plate, place lid on pan, and heat to generate steam. Keep an eye on the water levels, and be prepared to top up with boiling water when required.