We normally boil asparagus about 1 to 2 minutes depending on how big you cut them. (1 minute for small piece, 2 minutes for relatively big piece.) Boiling over 2 minutes is too much.
If you are planning to still grill them after boiling, then they are boiled for 1 minute or even less. Because when grilling, asparagus gets softer and softer. So in order to keep the texture, don’t boil them as much depending on how you want to cook them.
We normally boil broccoli around 2 minutes. If you are going to grill them after boiling, then make the time even less just like with asparagus.
Broccoli is one of the vegetables Japanese people really want to enjoy from its texture. So if you eat them soon after boiling, please don’t boil too much if you want to enjoy its texture like Japanese people do. The plate in the photo is one of the most popular dishes with broccoli in Japan; “Goma-Ae”. It’s a super easy recipe, you just mix broccoli with sauce made from sugar, salt, soy sauce and sesame oil.
Salad of spinach
Sometimes we eat spinach without boiling if it’s super fresh. Recently, we can find raw spinach salads at places like Italian restaurants.
This is a very popular dish that is like mom’s home cooking: “ohitashi of spinach”. It’s super easy to make. You boil spinach, then put them in a dish. Add soy source and katsuobushi. That’s all.
Katsuobushi (鰹節 or かつおぶし), also known as okaka (おかか) is the Japanese name for dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis). Young bonito has a similar color and texture and is sometimes used as a cheaper substitute for skipjack tuna, particularly in canned products, however not all countries allow marketing of bonito as skipjack tuna.