Steamed broccoli and carrots is perhaps the easiest vegetable side dish you can make even without a steamer. The trick to keeping the broccoli crunchy and delicious is to never overcook it. Steamed broccoli only takes 10 minutes to cook, therefore making it a great option for week night dinner.
The healthiest way to cook broccoli
Steaming is the best way to cook broccoli or any other vegetables as the heat is much more gentle. Steaming broccoli is good and it is proven in a study done in 2009 Steamed broccoli is able to retain most of its nutrients compared to stir-frying or boiling it.
Broccoli will, however, soften quicker when cooked directly in water. If you are pressed for time, boiling them could be another option.
Quick and healthy sauce
Healthy is often associated with lack of flavours. Fortunately, this broccoli recipe is delicious. The garlicky sauce helps to elevate the sweetness of the broccoli and carrots.
The sauce is made by mixing minced garlic, salt, pepper, sesame oil, mushroom seasoning, water and a neutral tasting cooking oil. Feel free to use sunflower oil, rapeseed oil or even peanut oil. All that needs to be done is to toss the broccoli and carrots with the sauce shortly before steaming.
Besides the low heat, the oil in the sauce assists in maintaining the colour of the broccoli. If you do not have mushroom seasoning, you can use oyster sauce or other seasoning you may have in your kitchen.
Can the broccoli and carrots be steamed together?
Of course! However, carrots do take longer to cook compared to broccoli. The trick here is to cut the carrot into slices measuring 2mm in thickness.
The carrot slices should not be too thick to prevent under cooking. Thin slices will lead to over cooking making the carrot slices soft.The last thing we want in this dish is mushy carrots.
How long should the broccoli be steamed?
It actually depends on how big the florets of broccoli are. If they are sliced as shown below, steaming only take about 7 minutes. Maximum 10 minutes, if you prefer a crunchy texture.
Over steaming may change the colour of the broccoli besides destroying more nutrients during the cooking process.
How to steam broccoli without a steamer?
You don’t need to buy an a steamer to steam any food. All we need is the steam from the boiling water.
To create your own steamer, ensure that you have a pot or a wok big enough to place a plate you will be using for this dish. Ensure that the pot or wok has a lid. The diameter of the plate should be smaller than the diameter of the pot. If not, the steam will not be evenly distributed. A steaming stand comes in handy. If you do not have one, place the plate directly into the pot/wok or use a saucer/small bowl to elevate the plate.
Removing the hot plate will be a challenge if the space between the plate and the pot/wok is too narrow. I usually use the help of the kitchen towel or oven gloves to remove the hot plate. Of course, use the tongs gripper or hot plate gripper if you have.
Here is an example of how it will look like. As seen in the steamed fish recipe, the plate is placed directly into a wok with boiling water. If you are looking for an accompanying dish, this steamed fish is a great one too.