Broccoli is a vegetable of sturdy character. It has a rich colour and a distinctive taste and texture that allows it to be paired with strong seasonings and flavours – for example, the ginger and Shaoxing rice wine of this dish. The recipe is of Shanghai origin. The justly famous yellow Shaoxing wine is produced in that region of China and quite understandably it has attained a prominent place in Shanghai cuisine. This is a quick, easy and fragrant wok dish that can serve as a perfect side dish or as a main vegetarian treat.
Separate the broccoli heads into small florets, then peel and slice the stems. Blanch the broccoli pieces in a large pan of boiling salted water for 3 minutes and then immerse them in cold water. Drain thoroughly.
Heat a wok or large frying-pan over a high heat until it is hot. Add the oil and, when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the ginger shreds, salt, sugar and pepper and stir-fry for a few seconds. Add the blanched broccoli. Add the Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry and continue to stir-fry over a moderate to a high heat for 4 minutes until the broccoli is thoroughly heated through. Add the sesame oil and continue to stir-fry for 30 seconds. Transfer to a warm plate and serve at once.
© 1996 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.