The Secret to Perfectly Cooked Vegetables

by zesty on August 11, 2008 · 6 comments

How to Shock Vegetables

A simple do-ahead method for delicious veggies every time.

Shocking, or refreshing, refers to the technique of plunging just blanched vegetables into ice water to halt the cooking. (They’ll keep cooking if you simply take them off the heat.) It locks in flavor, texture, and color, and you don’t have to worry about undercooking or overcooking. It’s especially helpful when you’re entertaining — you can do the work hours in advance and reheat just before serving.

Step 1: Prepare an ice bath. Fill a mixing bowl halfway with ice and enough water to cover it. Add about 1/2 tablespoon of salt for each quart of water (so you won’t wash away the salt absorbed during blanching).

Step 2: Blanch. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook your vegetables to the desired tenderness.

Step 3: Shock. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables from the pot to the ice bath. Remove when they’re cold, in about 1 minute.

This is a very simple technique that will allow your vegetables to be much crisper and flavorful not too mention not lose as many nutrients. Next time your cooking vegetables try this method either in advance if your short on time or preparing a large meal for a group.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 morecoffee

How long do you reheat the vegetables for?


2 Patricia

How do I rehaeat the veg??


3 ZestyCook

you can use the microwave or the oven on a low tempreature.


4 erik

Something wrong here I think. So we have stopped or blanched and removed the veg from the ice water – so what happens next? You assume we are all experts, if we were then we wouldn’t be looking here for help.
How and where do you store them untill required and how do you ‘finish’ cook them?
If you can answer this then you have done a proper job.


5 zesty

Erik, You can store them in the fridge and or freezer once they are blanched and you can use them in a variety of dishes. You can add them directly to pasta sauces and warm them through or you can also add them at the end to quick soups for instant flavor.


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