2008/11/26

Broccoli - How to blanch

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“What is your favourite vegetable?” “BROCCOLI!!”
That’s the immediate response I always get from my son. The strange thing is he enjoys eating broccoli using his fingers. Maybe it is really a “finger lickin’ good” vegetable!

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When I first started to make my own baby food, I read about broccoli is one of the high-nitrate vegetables (besides beets, cabbage, carrots, celery, spinach etc) which should not be fed to babies in large quantities. The naturally occurring nitrates in these vegetables can change to nitrites, which bind iron in the blood and make it difficult to carry oxygen. This can make breathing become difficult and the skin to turn blue. As a health freak mommy, I prefer to boil/ blanch broccoli to remove this potentially harmful nitrates. Since then, it has become a personal preference in my cooking. Besides broccoli, I also boil/ blanch other green leafy vegetables because it is the simplest, easiest, fastest, healthiest and tastiest way as compared to other cooking methods. As long as my family doesn’t file a “complain”, I will try to keep my cooking as simple as possible.

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Ingredient:
Broccoli (I prefer Australian broccoli)
Oil (I use extra light olive oil)
Salt & sugar (optional – I will skip it if I use Australian broccoli)
Light soya sauce/ oyster sauce (I prefer Lee Kum Kee superior light SS because it is less salty)
Fried shallot oil
Fried shallot (I will do another posting on how to make my "perfect" fried shallot. Stay-tuned!)

Method
1) Cut broccoli into small florets. If the floret is too big, cut into half. Wash thoroughly, rinse and soak for 10-20 mins
2) Bring water to boil in a cooking pot.
3) When the water is boiling, add some oil, salt and sugar. Put the broccoli and let it boil in the pot without lid until fork-tendered.
4) Drain the broccoli with a strainer or colander immediately to avoid the broccoli from turning colour.
5) Toss with fried shallot oil and light soya sauce/oyster sauce. Garnish with fried shallot.

Tips:
1) To retain the bright hue in broccoli after blanching, you can use "shocking method" - It is done by noobcook in her stir-fry broccoli dish and further illustrated at Allrecipes.
2) I noticed that the water used to cook pasta/ noodles can also produce the same results as step (1). Has anyone tried it before?

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This is my entry for Weekend Wokking (secret ingredient for this month: BROCCOLI), hosted by Wiffy of Noobcook. The dealine is 30 Nov but she is still accepting entries until she publishes the round up on 3 Dec. So do hurry and join the fun. For more info and rules, check it out here.

16 comments:

noobcook said...

I really love your method of blanching broccoli. It retains a lot of flavour. Your son definitely eats healthy! Thanks for sharing with ww :)

Selba said...

Yes... I love broccoli too!

I prefer to eat raw broccoli dip with salad dressing or mayonnaise :)

But my mom doesn't like to eat raw broccoli, she always cook it and uses the same blanch methode like noobcook.

Bits of Life 'n' Taste said...

Simple yet delicious! *wink*

Mrs Ergül said...

Cool! I have found another Singaporean food blogger! Great site!

Pearl said...

broccoli looks absolutely lovely. and thank you for sharing your method of blanching :)

have a wonderful thanksgiving!

Beachlover said...

your brocolli look green and good! love brocooli with garlic!

Anonymous said...

Broccoli is one of my all time fav. Have read somewhere that soaking or rinsing cut veges will lose the nutrients? how true is this, what are you thoughts?

Cheers!

mycookinghut said...

I love broccoli!! I also blanch mine too... I am looking forward to see how to make perfect fried shallots!!

Food For Tots said...

Hi Noobcook,
I am so excited to participate in this event. Glad that I can make it on time.

Hi Selba,
Tks for your sharing.

Hi Bits of Life 'n' Taste,
Tks!!

Hi Mrs Engül,
Tks for dropping by. I hope I can learn some Turkish recipes from you in future.;)

Hi Pearl,
Happy Thanksgiving to your family and you too!

Hi Beachlover,
Tks!! I luv garlic!

Hi Anonymous,
Tks for highlighting this issue. I do agree with u. Besides soaking, loss of nutrient also comes from storage & cooking. The best is to eat raw organic foods. For me, I am more concerned about how to remove dirt and pesticide residues from the vegetables and practice the suggestion by Agri-Food & Veterinay Authority of Singapore (a 30-sec rinse followed by a 15-min soak and a final rinse). If you have better suggestion, feel free to comment.

Hi My Cooking Hut,
Tks!! Will try to post it ASAP. ;)

tigerfish said...

Yup, this is the right way to blanch but sometimes I get too lazy that I will skip the "shocking" step. Hee heee....

Dora said...

Ur broccoli looks very fresh! Sometimes those i bought are a bit yellow.

Pam said...

I love broccoli. This is a great recipe with excellent photos. Looking fowrard to your fried shallots recipe.

Food For Tots said...

Hi tigerfish,
Me too! Hehehe!

Hi dora,
I guess only after the blanching process and the oil coating, the broccoli will look greener.

Hi for the love of cooking,
Tks for your compliments!

Mandrake said...

I was told that the water that noodles had been cooked in contains some alkali from the noodles. Its this alkali that makes the green colour looks more vibrant after blanching.

Wandering Chopsticks said...

I like how bright the broccoli looks after blanching but admit I'm much too lazy to do it. :P

Food For Tots said...

Hi Mandrake,
Tks for dropping by and your sharing. I wonder whether the water is suitable for blanching. What do u think?

Hi Wondering Chopsticks,
Tks for dropping by and your comment.