How to cook long-stem broccoli

Discover how to cook long-stem broccoli by steaming, simmering or frying. This long-stem vegetable makes a perfect side and can also be served raw in salads.

Long-stem broccoli on a white surface

Long-stem broccoli varieties can all be cooked in similar ways. They are tender enough to be eaten raw in salads and benefit from being cooked quickly to keep their colour, texture and more delicate flavour (they are hybrids of broccoli and gai lan, or Chinese broccoli, so slightly sweeter than the standard type).

You shouldn’t have to do any more than trim the ends to prep this veg, then it can be cooked in any of the following ways:

  • Steam it in a steamer for 2-3 mins
  • Simmer in a small amount of water for 3-4 mins (don’t fiercely boil it as you may overcook it)
  • Pan-fry it in olive oil to add an extra burst of flavour
  • Stir-fry in a small amount of flavourless oil with garlic for 2 mins
  • Griddle on all sides to add char marks and a smoky flavour
  • Roast in the meat juices of a joint for the final 10 mins
  • Dip in tempura batter and deep-fry

Quick long-stem broccoli recipe

Serves 4

  • 400g long-stem broccoli
  • extra virgin olive oil or melted butter

1. Trim the ends of the broccoli spears and cut any long ones into lengths. Put a little water into a pan and bring it to a boil.

2. Put the broccoli into the pan, cover and turn down to a simmer. Cook for 3-4 mins or until you can pierce the stem easily with a sharp knife. Drain well and steam dry in the pan for 30 secs. Tip onto a serving plate, season and dress with olive oil or butter.

Our favourite long-stem broccoli recipes

Long-stem broccoli with sautéed onions & bacon

Temderstem broccoli and bacon in a square serving dish

Bump up the flavour with bacon and onions and even fussy eaters will decide they love broccoli.

Long-stem broccoli with sautéed onions & bacon

Broccoli with garlic & chilli breadcrumbs

Tenderstem broccoli topped with chilli and breadcrumbs, in a bowl

Breadcrumbs add pleasing crunch to this dish while chilli gives it heat.

Broccoli with garlic & chilli breadcrumbs

Long-stem broccoli with sesame

Tenderstem broccoli with sesame seeds

Sesame and coriander make this a perfect side dish for Thai, Japanese or Chinese meals, or ring the changes and serve it with a roast.

Long-stem broccoli with sesame

Broccoli lemon chicken with cashews

Chicken, tenderstem broccoli and cashews

Add broccoli to chicken and cashew nuts in this stir-fry to make a light midweek supper.

Broccoli lemon chicken with cashews

Puy lentil salad with soy beans, sugar snap peas & broccoli

Broad beans and puy lentil salad

The combination of veg and lentils with a zingy dressing makes a fantastic veggie main course.

Puy lentil salad with soy beans, sugar snap peas & broccoli

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