Recipe, Guide And Tips From A Hong Kong Kitchen
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How To Steam Broccoli Without Losing The Color And Nutrition

Steamed broccoli is one of the healthiest food you can take. But sometimes, steamed broccoli just don’t look appealing when it turns into this sickly yellow color… is there anyway to keep the delightful green and the nutrients?

My Solution Is: Poach The Vegetable, Not Steaming Them!

This Is All You Need

  • A few good pieces of broccoli
  • Olive oil, salt, water
  • A regular pot

No steamer and no other fancy utensils your TV and Amway friends ask you to buy.

Let’s Start With… How To Choose A Good Piece Of Broccoli

how to pick broccoli: 3 tips

First of all, it has to look good. What I mean is, it has to look refreshingly green — if it is already yellowish there is nothing you can do about it.

I personally like the ones with small and compact flower buds. Not only that it usually means it is young and tender, broccoli with bigger buds tend to have bugs hiding in it. On a similar note, don’t be greedy and pick the biggest piece — it usually means it is the toughest.

Then, look for any traces of soggy parts, black spots and mold.

Cutting And Soaking The Broccoli

After you’ve pick your perfect piece of broccoli, you’ll have to wash it and cut it into smaller pieces. There is a chance that part of the stem is quite hard. Typically it is problem with the out-est layer of cellulose and you can keep the inner part which is still soft and tender.

It’s a good idea to soak the veggie with slightly salted water to “push” the bugs and worms out, if any. My mom said the salty water keeps the vegetable feel fresh to touch and helps retain the greenness. 10 minutes of soaking is enough or else some of the nutrients will be drained.

The Boiling

This is very simple, but you have to do it right to create your delicious dish of steamed (or poached) veggie.

how to steam broccoli: the better way

First, get your pot and bring the water to boil. Sprinkle in some salt. I would say around 1 teasp.

Then, add some oil. I use olive oil but you can use any vegetable oil you prefer.

The oil helps keep the surface of the broccoli shiny even after the boiling, and the oil can help you achieve a slightly higher boiling point, the importance of which is described below.

how to steam broccoli: the better way

You Need Hot Hot HOT Water!

Please wait until you get to the highest boiling point before throwing in the broccoli. This is a very important step to keep the veggie in its green color. Why? I am no scientist, but I would think that the high heat helps to seal in the green color and the corresponding nutrients right under the skin of the broccoli.

In order words, not only it looks better, it should be healthier too.

Then, cover the pot with a lid — it is not necessary, but it takes less time to cook, and by by covering the pot it is easier to estimate the time, as discussed below.

A question: How long should we cook the broccoli?

If you prefer a crispy bite, a minute or two is enough for the boil. The rule of thumb is that once you see the steam leaking out and that you can smell the aroma of fresh veggie, it’s time to take it out. This is one of the reasons why you want to cover the pot with a lid.

If you would like to have it softer (e.g. for young kids) then 2-3 minutes is great.

Note: Please take out and drain the broccoli before it is completely cooked, because it will “cook” itself with the heat even after they are taken out and put on a dish. The vegetable will turn yellowish if you wait until the very end.

Poached Broccoli: Even Young Kids Find It Delicious

My 2-year-old is blowing on the veggie — he can’t wait to have the first bite!

Steamed broccoli: delicious even for the kids!

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