A General Guide to Braising Vegetables

Or maybe this is called stir-frying. The idea is to brown them a little in oil before steaming them. 

vegetables spices salt flavorful liquids

Chop vegetables into bite-sized pieces about 1/4” thick. Heat a large saucepan to medium heat, add oil and spices. Temper spices for about thirty seconds before throwing in vegetables (carefully--they will sputter). Stir quickly to spread the spices around and stop them from burning. Fry on medium-high heat for about five minutes, stirring every minute. Add salt and flavorful liquids and cover for about three minutes. Continue steaming if not done (somewhere between crisp and mushy is my preference).

Of course, every vegetable is different. Bok choy for instance doesn’t need as much cooking time, and only the stems need to be really cooked, whereas the leaves just need to be wilted. This recipe is based on carrots and parsnips which I fried with garlic and black pepper and steamed in lemon juice and mirin. The parsnips cooked more quickly than carrots, and came out mushier than the carrots. Which was actually kind of nice.

22 December 2010