The Chinese word for broccoli, huacai, means “flower vegetable.” Mrs.
Wash the broccoli. Cut the florets off the main stems in fairly good-sized pieces. Cut off the tough bottom part of the stems, then slice the stems in half lengthwise and then into pieces about 2 inches long.
Cut each pepper into 4 pieces.
Peel the ginger, then cut it into shreds about ⅛ inch wide, the width of a wooden matchstick.
Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and set aside.
(ginger) (red peppers)
Heat your wok or pan over a high flame for 15 seconds, then add the oil. It will be ready to cook with when the first tiny bubbles form and a few small wisps of smoke appear.
When the oil is ready, throw in the ginger and the red peppers. Use your cooking shovel or spoon to stir them around in the middle of the pan for 5 seconds.
Now add the broccoli and stir-fry it for 1½ minutes, scooping it off the sides of the pan and stirring it around in the middle so every piece is exposed to the hot oil.
Add the salt and stir-fry the broccoli for 1 minute longer.
Pour in the water, wait for it to come to a boil, then cover the pan and let the broccoli cook over a moderately high flame for 8 minutes.
(cornstarch and water)
Stir the cornstarch and water to make sure they are well combined; then, just before you are ready to serve the broccoli, pour the mixture into the pan. Stir-fry the broccoli for a few seconds over a high flame until the sauce turns thick and clear, then serve.
© 1976 Ellen Schrecker. All rights reserved.