BROCCOLI WITH GARLIC SAUCE
Broccoli in garlic sauce, prepared in the takeout style, is a delicious side dish for any dinner. This dish is filling and healthy with a side of white or brown rice, and it’s surprisingly simple to make at home.
In my opinion, Chinese takeout is perfectly acceptable as a treat, and no one knows that better than me. However, when I don’t feel like eating enough vegetables, I order broccoli with garlic sauce from Chinese takeout.
I’d want to give some background information on this dish and any other garlic sauce or Yu Xiang (meat and vegetable dish in the “fish fragrance” style) from a takeout restaurant. It’s easy to see that these recipes have been heavily influenced by their American counterparts.
Because it is a Western vegetable, broccoli, the garlic sauce has been adapted to suit American tastes and, maybe, made simpler for Chinese takeout cooks to prepare. If you’re looking for an authentic garlic sauce recipe, try Judy’s recipe for garlic-flavored chicken.
All that being said, this garlic-smothered broccoli is delicious! Rice vinegar adds a tangy note, which is softened by sugar and homemade chile oil’s (optional) heat. Garlicky broccoli, a more traditional side dish, can be replaced with this healthier version.
- 1 pound of broccoli
- 1 tsp. of dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. of soy sauce
- 1½ tsp. of rice wine vinegar
- 2 tsp. of sugar
- 3/4 cup of hot chicken or vegetable stock (to keep the dish vegetarian)
- ½ tsp. of sesame oil
- 1/8 tsp. of ground white pepper
- 2 tbsp. of vegetable oil
- 4 cloves of minced garlic (about a tablespoon)
- 1 tbsp. of Shaoxing wine
- 1 1/2 tbsp. of cornstarch (mixed with 1½ tablespoons water)
- 1 tsp. of homemade chili oil (optional)
- Set aside the broccoli after washing it thoroughly. Set aside the soy sauces, rice wine vinegar, sugar, stock, sesame oil, and ground white pepper in a bowl and mix them thoroughly.
- The wok should be heated to a high temperature. Stir-fry the garlic and broccoli quickly in the oil to prevent them from burning.
- After 15 seconds of stirring, pour the Shaoxing rice wine into the center of the wok. Add the sauce mixture after a brief swirl. Simmering, add the slurry of cornstarch and water to the sauce, whisking constantly. If you want softer broccoli, reduce the heat and boil the florets for an additional few minutes before adding the corn starch slurry.
- You can boil the broccoli for a little longer before adding the corn starch slurry if you reduce the heat. Slowly add the cornstarch slurry while constantly stirring the broccoli and sauce. When it coats the back of a spoon, the sauce is done cooking and thickening. Add more cornstarch and water if you prefer a thicker sauce. Add less water and cornstarch if you prefer a thinner sauce. At this time, you can add the chile oil if you like. Serve!