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How to Steam Vegetables

Learn How to Steam Vegetables, Which is the BEST Way to Have Them

Steaming vegetables helps to preserve their nutrients and they are so much healthier than fried ones. It is one of the gentlest cooking methods and it helps to retain the texture and color of vegetables.
Rimlee Bhuyan
Last Updated: Mar 7, 2018
The best way to have vegetables is by steaming them. However you have to know the right way to steam vegetables if you want them to taste good and retain all its nutritional goodness. Having steamed vegetables as a side dish along with grilled fish or steak is one of the best ways to make sure that you consume enough vegetables in your diet. It is possible to steam vegetables in a steamer, microwave, and even a rice cooker.
Without a Steamer
If you have a steamer with you, then steaming vegetables is quite simple. However, if you don't have a steamer, you can still prepare perfectly steamed vegetables. All you need are a big pot, colander, and lid that will fit the pot. First wash and cut your vegetables and keep them aside. Next fill the pot about ΒΌth of its volume with water and place the colander inside it. The colander should fit inside the pot in such a way that the bottom of the colander should not touch the surface of the water inside the pot. Now turn on the heat of the stove top and wait for the water inside the pot to boil.
Once the water starts boiling and steam comes out of the colander, place the vegetables that you have cleaned and cut inside the colander. Cover the pot with the lid and let the vegetables cook in the steam. If you are wondering how long to steam vegetables, then it depends on the vegetable that you are steaming. For soft and delicate vegetables like broccoli florets, green beans, and tender asparagus spears, you need to steam them for just 4 - 5 minutes. Anything over that will overcook them and make them taste soggy. On the other hand some vegetables like cauliflower florets, parsnips and Brussels sprouts need anything from 8 - 12 minutes to cook through.
In the Microwave
One of the best and easiest ways to steam vegetables is in the microwave oven. When cooking in the microwave you do not have to worry about overcooking or undercooking your vegetables. To steam vegetables in the microwave, first you need to clean and cut the vegetables. Next place them inside a microwave safe bowl and about an inch of water into the bowl. Cover the bowl with microwave safe cling film and microwave on "high" for about 4 - 5 minutes. Make sure that you make a small slit on the cling film, so that the steam can escape while the vegetables are cooking.
In a Rice Cooker
A rice cooker can also come in handy for steaming vegetables when you don't have a conventional steamer or a microwave. First add about 2 inches of water in the rice cooker and place the steamer basket that comes with it. Add the cleaned and cut vegetables inside the steamer basket. Cover the rice cooker with its lid and then turn it "ON" to start the cooking process. Set the timer to 5 - 10 minutes depending on the vegetable you are cooking. Once the timer goes off, remove the steamed vegetables from the rice cooker into a platter. Remember that vegetables cook much faster in a rice cooker than a steamer so do not steam them for long.
Many people think that steamed vegetables are bland and boring. But you can add flavors to your steamed vegetables like green beans, broccoli, and baby carrots by using fresh herbs, spices, and flavored oils.
Fresh Lettuce plant in metal basket on dark wooden background
Lettuce on white background