09 January, 2013

Garlicky Chinese Broccoli

Broccoli can be so boring sometimes.  

I actually love broccoli, but in my house it's always the same.  
Dependable. Trustworthy. 

But sometimes you gotta let your hair down, broccoli! 

This could be served as a Chinese side dish- the perfect accompaniment to stir-fry. 

It's Quick. Easy. Healthy.  
With limited ingredients. 

Lots of flavor but not drowned in sauce.  It's just a bit spicy from the sambal oelek, but not too spicy for everyone to enjoy.  

A little education for you:

Sambal Oelek can be found in the Asian aisle of the supermarket. It's a red chili paste that is used in Asian cooking (a staple in Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia).  'Oelek' means ground, and this really is just a variety of ground chilies with not much else added.  Because it's not heavily spiced with additional ingredients, it will add heat to any dish without imposing on the flavor of the dish.   
A couple similar chili sauces/pastes: 


Sriacha is more of a condiment or dipping sauce.  It's spicy, and I love adding it to chili, wing sauce, pizza, and eggs. It is spiced with vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt, and has a distinctive taste. 

Spicy Garlic Sauce-

Similar to Sriacha in flavor, this is a deliciously garlicky sauce that carries a bit more substance than sriacha.  It has a fuller flavor, if you will. 

You can use spicy garlic sauce for this recipe, just eliminate a clove of garlic (and remember not to try to kiss your significant other after eating! ;)  

I stepped away and overcooked my broccoli a couple minutes, I will admit. It was more a broccoli mush.  

Okay broccoli.. I let your hair down and you go bananas. Jeez.

Served my mush with Asian-spiced short ribs and rice noodles.

Garlicky Chinese Broccoli

1 large head of broccoli
1 tsp sambal oelek
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp olive oil plus extra for cooking
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
4 cloves thinly sliced garlic
1/4 cup of water, chicken stock, or veg stock (I used water)

Cut stem off and cut broccoli into bite sized pieces, rinse, and place in large mixing bowl.  Add the sambal oelek, sugar, and olive oil and use your hands to combine- make sure you evenly distribute that sambal oelek!

Heat a large saucepan over medium high heat.  Once hot, add the broccoli.  Saute for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the ginger and garlic and stir to combine.  Saute another 2 minutes, until fragrant.

Add 1/4 cup of water and cover with a lid. Reduce heat and let broccoli steam about 2 minutes.  Remove broccoli with a slotted spoon when broccoli is tender but still firm.  

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