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Why You Should Blanch Vegetables and How to Do It

Blanching is a technique that every chef should learn. It's simple, quick, and can make your food look and taste better. The technique, which involves a combination of boiling and an ice bath, seals in the color, flavor, and nutrients of the vegetable. For those on low fat or oil diets, many cooks use blanching as a way to reduce the time a vegetable needs to be stir-fried and is in contact with oil.

The steps for blanching are simple. All you'll need are:

  • A big mixing bowl full of ice water
  • A stock pot聽for boiling water
  • Salt

Blanching Instructions

  1. Bring the stock pot full of water to a rolling boil. Remember, never add salt to the water unless it is boiling. This will damage your pan.
  2. If your vegetables are not uniform size, cut them into similar size pieces to ensure even cooking across each piece.
  3. After the water comes to a boil, add salt and then the vegetables.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to test the doneness of your vegetable throughout the process. After about a minute, remove one vegetable and give it an ice bath, then take a bite. Repeat this every 30-60 seconds until you achieve desired texture. This generally takes 2-5 minutes.
  5. When your vegetables are ready, shock your vegetables by moving them from the boiling water directly and quickly into the ice bath. A slotted spoon or quickly straining the water can help with this.
  6. If you desire, you can finish the veggies with a frying pan or by baking them. This can help add some further crispiness to the outside.