Hong Kong-style Broccoli

Chinese cooking in the West has taken a turn towards Hong Kong in recent years as chefs and new arrivals from there have brought with them their creative innovations in food. A lighter, fresher spirit with a touch of traditional Chinese seasonings and flavourings is now the current rage in Chinese restaurants all over the world. Instead of Chinese broccoli, which has a slightly mustard-like taste, ordinary broccoli, with its sweet taste and crispy texture, is a great favourite in Hong Kong as well as elsewhere.

Ingredients

  • 450 g (1 lb) fresh broccoli
  • 30 g (1 oz) Chinese dried black mushrooms
  • 1½ tablespoons groundnut oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

Method

Separate the broccoli heads into small florets; peel and slice the stems. Blanch the broccoli pieces in a large pot of boiling salted water for 3 minutes, then immerse them in cold water. Drain thoroughly.

Soak the mushrooms in warm water for 20 minutes. Drain them and squeeze out the excess liquid. Remove and discard the stems, and finely shred the caps into thin strips.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over a high heat until it is hot. Swirl in the groundnut oil and, when it is very hot and slightly smoking, toss in the broccoli, mushrooms, salt, pepper and sugar. Stir-fry for 3 minutes, then pour in the rice wine, soy sauce and oyster sauce. If the mixture seems a bit dry, ladle in 2 tablespoons of water and continue to stir-fry at a moderate to high heat for 2 minutes, until the vegetables are thoroughly heated through. Drizzle in the sesame oil and continue to stir-fry for 30 seconds. The vegetables are now ready to be served.

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