I originally wanted to make a dessert from this book. Well, there are only a few listed, and I had chosen one, but after searching several stores for one of the ingredients, I almost gave up. Then, while at a local health food store, I found the ingredient – agar agar flakes. But when I saw the price tag, I immediately put them back on the shelf. Not only was it way more than I’d want to take from my grocery budget, but I’m sure it’s not an ingredient most of you have on hand, either! So I went to a different section of the book – the vegetables.
I just happened to have all the ingredients on hand for this Broccoli with Garlic Sauce, so I went for it. The book says that it can either be served as a side dish or as a vegetarian main dish. I served it as a main dish, and the biggest thing I would have done differently is that I would have served it with rice. It needed something to soak up all the wonderful sauce. We are usually meat eaters, so it felt like something was missing for a main dish, but it was still delicious!! And this is something that I would totally make again as a side dish, next time I make Chinese food for dinner.
Recipe Rating: 4 out of 5
Broccoli with Garlic Sauce
from The Shun Lee Cookbook
Makes 4 to 6 side dish servings
total prep + cook time: about 15 minutes
1 pound broccoli florets
1/2 small red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, cut into strips about 1 1/2 inches long and 1/4 inch wide
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 scallions, white and green parts, trimmed and minced
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon hot bean paste
1 tablespoon hot chili oil, optional
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli and cook until it is crisp-tender but slightly undercooked, about 1 minute. Using a wide wire-mesh strainer, transfer the broccoli to a colander. Place a plate inside the colander on top of the broccoli, and let stand to drain excess water from the broccoli. Add the bell pepper to the boiling water and cook until crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Drain the red pepper in a fine wire-mesh strainer.
To begin the sauce, combine the soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, rice wine, and white pepper in a small bowl, and set aside. Dissolve the cornstarch in 3 tablespoons cold water in another small bowl, and set it aside.
Heat a large wok over high heat. Add the oil and heat until it is shimmering. Add the scallions, ginger, and garlic, and stir-fry until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add the soy sauce mixture and the cornstarch mixture, and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Add the hot bean paste and stir-fry for another 10 seconds. Return the broccoli and bell pepper to the wok, and stir-fry until well coated with the sauce, about 10 seconds. Add the hot chili oil, if using, and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Then add the sesame oil and serve immediately.