To the Cantonese, steaming is perhaps the most important cooking process. It helps foods retain natural flavors and nutrition. When steamed, doughs become soft, light, and firm dumplings. When subjected to steam’s wet, penetrating heat, food that is dry becomes moist, and food that is shrunken expands. Steaming bestows a glistening coat of moisture on foods. It is an art as well, because foods can be arranged in decorative ways within bamboo steamers and, once cooked, can be served without being disturbed.