Broccoli with Ume Plum Vinegar and Sesame Seeds

She's Choppin' BROCCOLI!!!

Do you remember that Saturday Night Live skit with Dana Carvey? The one where he plays Derek Stevens, a musician trying to make a comeback? 

You can jump in the Waywayback Machine here if you'd like to check it out — gotta love the 80's hair!

When we were on the cusp of becoming teenagers, it was a Rite of Passage to be able to stay up past midnight to watch SNL. Of course we didn't understand half of it, but once in a while, for whatever reason, something would just stick that we thought was absolutely hysterical — like the chopping broccoli song.

My friends and I would belt out Derek's tune in moments of boredom, which at 13 years old was pretty damn often. Those days seem to have worn a groove in my brain because to this day, if I'm in the kitchen with a head of broccoli and feeling a little bored, before I know it I'm belting out "she's choppin' broccoli... she's choppin' broccolee-hee... CHOPPIN' BROCOLAY!!!"

You too???


Recipe Notes:

As far as this recipe goes, there's really not much to direct you with. Simply:

  1. Steam some broccoli.

  2. Splash on a little Ume Plum Vinegar (to taste).

  3. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top (again, to taste).

  4. Eat it.


Yeah, I won't be receiving a Julia Child Award for this one. But it's simple, healthy and big on flavor so of course I'm going to share it with you!

Ume Plum Vinegar is difficult to describe, so I'll just call it tangy, salty goodness. I find it to be a great alternative to soy sauce and also use it on sushi rolls and Chinese food (if you're lucky you can find the little bottle that's the perfect size to smuggle into restaurants!). You can find it in the Asian section of your local health food store, selling for about $5 for a 10 ounce bottle.  

So there you go, folks. One quick trip to your local health food store should supply you with all you need so you too can raise your voice in honor of Derek Stevens. All together now… 

There's a lady I know... If I didn't know her... she'd be the lady... that... I didn't know....


Broccoli with Ume Plum Vinegar and Sesame Seeds

*This recipe can easily be made 8SAFE if you follow the original recipe and only use processed ingredients that are free of gluten & the top eight food allergens.

I like to serve the broccoli in individual bowls so that everyone can dress it the way they'd like. A few shakes of the Ume Plum Vinegar and sesame seeds is good for me, but my husband likes it without the sesame, and my son likes it plain. The Ume Plum Vinegar is pretty strong, so add it sparingly until you decide just how much is right for you.

Eden Selected Ume Plum Vinegar is the 8SAFE brand that I used in this recipe.


  • 1 large head of broccoli, cleaned and cut into large spears

  • Kosher salt

  • A few good shakes of Ume Plum Vinegar (to taste)

  • A few pinches of Sesame seeds (to taste)


Fill a large saucepan with about 1 inch of water. Add about 1 heaping teaspoon of kosher salt.

Add the broccoli to the pot, cover, and place on the stove. Turn the burner on high and cook for 8-10 minutes until desired tenderness. 

Remove from heat and drain the water.

Dress with a few shakes of Ume Plum Vinegar (to taste) and a big pinch of sesame seeds.



Always use safe handling practices when preparing an 8SAFE recipe:

  • Wash hands with soap and water (hand sanitizer does not remove allergens).

  • Wipe down all surfaces; use clean equipment; and

  • Avoid cross contamination of ingredients not called for in the recipe. Be mindful that allergens can become airborne in flour or powdered form. Preparing 8SAFE recipes before ‘regular’ recipes will help prevent cross contamination. Do not share equipment among recipes (For example: If you cook regular pasta alongside 8SAFE pasta, use a dedicated spoon for each. Do not use one spoon to stir both pots.)

  • Clean your grill thoroughly beforehand (or use a clean grill pan or tin foil on the grill) when preparing an 8SAFE recipe.

  • Dedicate individual serving utensils for each dish. Allow food sensitive guests to serve themselves first to reduce risk of cross contamination from serving utensils.

  • When in doubt, snap a photo of the ingredient list of any processed items you use for an 8SAFE recipe. You can then share the information with your guests to confirm that it’s safe. 

While I do my best to keep 8SAFE product suggestions up to date, please keep in mind that manufacturers change their ingredients and formulas from time to time (it's also human nature to make a mistake now and then, and I'm no exception). So be sure to double check all products to be free of gluten and the top eight food allergens before preparing an 8SAFE recipe.