Broccoli is a highly nutritious vegetable, being rich in vitamin C, carotenoids, dietary fibre and other nutrients with touted potent anti-cancer properties. This versatile vegetable can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, cooked in the microwave oven or stir-fried. The conventional Western way of cooking often involves steaming or boiling, to be finished off with one or a combination of seasonings and flavouring ingredients including salt, pepper, butter, lemon juice, cheese, garlic or a vinaigrette.

Chinese cuisine also favours broccoli, either stir-fried with garlic or with a variety of other ingredients including seafood, chicken and other vegetables. Broccoli is the perfect foil for absorbing the tasty gravy of braised dishes, and for providing colour contrast to the typically brownish hues of these dishes. In stir-fry dishes, it is a popular method to pre-cook broccoli by either steaming or boiling, then to toss in the broccoli when the other ingredients and the sauce are ready. Cooked this way, the broccoli retains its bright green colour and doneness can be controlled effectively.

Boiling tends to reduce some of the flavour in broccoli and nutrients are often lost when the vegetable is drained. It is also important to be on hand next to the boiling pot as overcooking or cooking in a covered pot will result in an unappetising yellowish looking vegetable. It is advisable to transfer cooked and drained broccoli immediately to a bowl of ice-cold water to stop further cooking.

Steamed vegetables lose less nutrients than when immersed in boiling water, but more fuel energy is used as they cook more slowly.

A clean and easy way to cook broccoli is to use a microwave oven. Just place the broccoli florets and cut stems in a microwave-safe bowl or casserole dish.

Boiling tends to reduce some of the flavour in broccoli and nutrients are often lost when the vegetable is drained. It is also important to be on hand next to the boiling pot as overcooking or cooking in a covered pot will result in an unappetising yellowish looking vegetable. It is advisable to transfer cooked and drained broccoli immediately to a bowl of ice-cold water to stop further cooking. Steamed vegetables lose less nutrients than when immersed in boiling water, but more fuel energy is used as they cook more slowly. A clean and easy way to cook broccoli is to use a microwave oven. Just place the broccoli florets and cut stems in a microwave-safe bowl or casserole dish. Pour a little water over the broccoli to provide some moisture. Depending on the quantity and size of the florets, cook on Micro Power HIGH for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring once or twice in between. Check that they are done to liking by piercing with a fork. This method will yield vibrant, dark green, cooked broccoli that is sweet and flavourful.