Thai food, Tom chapchai or Chinese vegetable stew boiling in pot
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A leek is a vegetable that consists of a small white bulb, a long stalk and thick leaves. It's similar to a cross between an onion and garlic, but with a more bitter taste. Since leeks have such a distinct flavor, they only need a basic cooking technique like boiling to just soften their texture and slightly enhance their flavor. Unfortunately, leeks can become soggy and flavorless if you boil them for too long, so you'll want to follow these instructions!


  • 1 to 2 leeks
  • Knife
  • Large bowl
  • Clean cloth
  • Large saucepan with lid
  • 3 cups water
  • Slotted spoon
  • Serving platter or dish

Step 1

Cut horizontally across the top of the leeks, just below the dark green tops, then remove and discard them. Slice horizontally across the bottom of the leeks, above the bottom bulb, then remove and discard it.

Step 2

Fill a large bowl with cold water. Cut each leek in half lengthwise, then place them into the water.

Step 3

Place your hand into the water and agitate it to help loosen the dirt inside the leeks. Soak the leeks in the bowl of water for about five minutes so the dirt can sink down. Insert your finger underneath each leek leaf and scrape out any remaining dirt.

Step 4

Pat the leeks dry with a clean cloth. Fill a large saucepan on your stove top with 3 cups of water. Set your stove to “high” and heat the water until it starts to boil.

Step 5

Reduce the stove heat to “low” and add the leeks into the water. Place a lid onto the saucepan and heat the leeks for five minutes.

Step 6

Take off the lid and use a slotted spoon to flip the leeks over, then heat them covered for another five minutes. When the five minutes is up, scoop up the leeks with the slotted spoon and place them into a serving platter or dish. And they're done!


Use chicken stock or white wine instead of water to boil the leeks in to add a richer flavor.


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