Day 210: Asian Broccoli in the Microwave ♥

Broccoli on the kitchen sill on a beautiful early-fall day
~ recipe & photo updated 2007 ~

2005: Lots of folks really cook with their microwaves. Aside from heating leftovers, mine is rarely called on for much beyond popping corn, melting butter and the morning oatmeal. And it shows: in seven months, there are only five microwave vegetable recipes on A Veggie Venture.

Time to fix that! And here's a start, with broccoli, one of several vegetables for which microwaves are perfect time-wise and taste-wise.

But microwaves do vary in power so the trick is, for something like broccoli that you might make again and again, is to take time-and-taste notes until you achieve reliable and perfect results, then do just repeat again and again.

TIP: Record the details on a sticky pad and stick it inside a cupboard as a reference next time. My notes from tonight read, "1/2 inch water, 'trees' vs trimmed, miked 5min covered then 5min rest w sauce ... too al dente ... next time try 7min in mike".

OH: and the sauce is so easy, so fast, so good, so healthful, that I recommend it no matter how the broccoli itself gets cooked.

2007: It takes the same few minutes to mix 3x or 4x the sauce ingredients so if you like this sauce, mix enough for multiple servings and then store in the frig.

Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes
Serves 4

1 pound broccoli, trimmed aggressively (see ALANNA's TIPS)

1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic (from a jar)
1 teaspoon minced ginger (from a jar)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
Few turns of salt and pepper

Add 1/2 inch water to a microwave safe dish with a cover. Add broccoli, cover and cook in the microwave for 5 minutes (or more, see notes above) or until broccoli is nearly cooked. While broccoli cooks, assemble remaining ingredients. Pour over the broccoli, cover and let rest for 5 minutes.

Per Serving: 44 Cal (25% from Fat, 26% from Protein, 48% from Carb); 3 g Protein; 1 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 6 g Carb; 3 g Fiber; NetCarb3; 66 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 255 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 0 points

  • I didn't tonight (and regretted it later) but here's how to "aggressively trim" broccoli. It's a supper-changing technique - really!! -- technique learned from StephenCooks who wrote:
"Cut the last 1/4" from the end of the stalks, use a paring knife to trim any gnarly stumps or little branches from the stalks and then, using a vegetable peeler, peel the tough outer skin from the stalks, starting at the base of the flower and going to the end of the stalks. Some larger stalks have a fairly thick skin and may need two passes of the can tell when you got it all when the inner flesh of the stalk is has a softer wet-green look, with no fibers visible and a consistency like a cut radish or potato.

Cut the broccoli into serving portions...I usually cut it crosswise into three pieces - the flower and two pieces of stalk about 2 1/2 - 3" long. Then divide the flowers from each other and halve or quarter the stalk pieces lengthwise. For uniform cooking, the flower stems should be about the same diameter as the quartered or halved stalk pieces.

I frequently cook a large amount of broccoli. I remove the portion I need immediately and covering it for a few minutes as you describe, I shock the remaining broccoli in cold water to totally stop the cooking. This leaves the broccoli slightly undercooked and ready to be reheated without being mushy for the next meal (microwave or quick steam) OR a nice crunchy addition to salads fully cooked broccoli is too soft. It keeps really well in the refrigerator."
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Very good! I made this tonight with rice and mixed it all up. (I made a double batch of the sauce.) It was quite good and definitely something I will make again! I subbed dried ground ginger for the minced, since that's what I had on hand, and it provided a very nice refreshing flavor to the sauce. Thanks!

  2. try this:
    1 cup celery sliced 1 red capsicum chopped 1 green capsicum chopped 1 cup sliced mushrooms 1 cup bean sprouts(stir in after everythings cooked) 1 onion cut in petals.
    Cook in microwave on high for 3-4 minutes.Uncovered.
    In a microwave-friendly jug mix 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce, and 2 teaspoons soy sauce.
    Microwave 1 min on high.
    Stir over veges - YUMMO! Try throwing in some crushed cashew nuts.

  3. Anonymous ~ Sounds good! And very flexible! Thanks for sending the idea my way.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. (So sorry, as of 4/23/22, I’ve had to turn comments off to prevent hundreds of spam comments a day. Stupid Spammers.) ~ Alanna