Broccoli is an excellent salad ingredient. It can be steamed and stir-fried to heighten the taste. However, the popularity of the broccoli lies in its being eaten raw in a salad. This bright green floret is also used in dressing for various cuisines as the flowery heads make for great decorations. It is rich in a variety of nutrients, the most prominent being protein and dietary fibers. It is also a source of many anti-cancer compounds, and the good news is that steaming or microwaving or stir-frying do not reduce or breakdown these compounds. Broccoli originated from the wild cabbage and it was known to exist since 2000 years. Cooking broccoli is simple and a basic dish can be prepared by steaming and garnishing with pepper and salt. It is healthy, nutritious and appeals to the taste buds. To help you cook broccoli better, read the article below to learn how to cook broccoli.
Tips On Cooking Broccoli
- The broccolis, which are compact clusters of florets and are firm, should be selected as they are fresh. It should be dark green with a purplish tint on the edge.
- The broccoli buds that are yellowish-green, wilted or enlarged are not fresh.
- The broccoli can be stored in a refrigerator for upto three days but any more would diminish the nutrient content.
Preparing The Broccoli
- In stir-fry, both the stem and the floret can be used. As a side dish, use only the florets.
- The broccoli should be washed in running water before preparation. Take care not to soak it.
- Trim the stalks of leaves. Leave the stalk for about 2 inches below the florets. The outer layer of the stalk must be peeled with a peeler.
- Cut it lengthwise to form strips and then crosswise till the desired length.
- The florets must be cut off the head with a little stalk attached. To make smaller pieces the broccoli can be sliced lengthwise in half.
Cooking In A Microwave
- 1/2 pound Broccoli
- 1 tablespoon of Water
- Salt and Pepper
- Take a large microwave dish that can hold all the broccoli, and put in the florets in a single layer.
- Now add one-tablespoon water.
- Cover the dish with a plastic wrap leaving a small steam vent.
- Set the microwave high and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Do not overcook so check frequently to see the broccoli is crisp and tender. Even when cooked, the broccoli retains the green color.
- Before serving, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cooking Broccoli Indian-Style
- 1 head broccoli, stems removed and florets halved
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 5 cardamom pods (remove the seeds and discard the pods)
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper
- Add salt to water and bring it to a boil. Remove from heat and then blanch the broccoli for 4 minutes and then drain.
- In a skillet, toast cumin, fennel, and cardamom seeds over medium heat, until the aroma is released. Grind the seeds in a mortar.
- In another bowl, mix the yogurt, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Add the spices and mix thoroughly.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper.
- In a pan heat the olive oil and cook the broccoli until slightly charred. Take the broccoli in a plate and pour the spiced yogurt on top.
Chicken And Broccoli Stir Fry
- 1 pound Chicken breast (about 2 breasts), cubed
- 3 Scallions, whites only, thinly sliced on an angle
- 2 cloves Garlic, (minced)
- 1-inch piece peeled fresh Ginger, (minced)
- 1 tablespoon Soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons Sugar
- 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon Cornstarch
- 1 1/4 teaspoons Salt
- 1 tablespoon dry Sherry
- 1 tablespoon dark Sesame oil
- About 1/3 cup Water
- 3 tablespoons vegetable Oil
- 5 to 6 cups Broccoli trimmed sliced stalks and medium florets.
- 3/4 to 1 teaspoon Red Chili flakes, optional
- 1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce
- Toasted Sesame seeds, (optional)
- Jasmine rice (for serving)
- In a bowl, take the scallion whites, half of the garlic and ginger, soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, salt, sherry, sesame oil and mix.
- Now take the chicken and toss it with the mixture. Marinate for 20 minutes at room temperature.
- In a skillet, add oil and heat over high heat.
- Add broccoli stems and for 30 seconds stir-fry. Now add the florets along with the garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoon of water.
- Stir-fry until it is scrip.
- Mix cornstarch in 1/3 part water.
- Heat the skillet again and heat two tablespoons of oil. Put in the chicken and sprinkle the chili flakes. Stir-fry the chicken until it is brown. Add the hoisin sauce and the broccoli. Increase the heat and toss. Add the cornstarch mixture and boil until it thickens.
- Season it with salt, pepper, and sesame seeds.
- Serve with steamed rice.