Chinese Broccoli in Sesame-Sichuan Vinaigrette

Preparation info

  • Serves

    4

    Appears in

    Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

    By Elizabeth Schneider

    Published 2001

    • About

    Chinese broccoli stems have a pickly crunch par excellence, but their dark green becomes a bit drab in the presence of acid—although far less so than other brassicas. The shorter the marinating time, the brighter the color. Serve with barbecued meats, or mix into grain salads. Or top with peanuts and chillis to serve as a side dish to an Asian meal.

    Ingredients

    • ¾ teaspoon Sichuan pepper
    • ¼ teaspoon anise seeds
    • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
    • Optional: 1 or 2 small dried chillis
    • ¼ teaspoon minced garlic
    • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons honey
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
    • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
    • 1 tablespoon Asian (dark) sesame oil
    • 1 pound Chinese broccoli
    • 3 medium-large carrots
    • Optional: ¼ cup chopped roasted peanuts

      Method

      1. In small pan over low heat, stir Sichuan pepper, anise seeds, salt, and optional chillis until fragrant and crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer to suribachi or mortar; cool slightly. Crush spices fine. Add garlic and crush. Stir in vinegar, honey, and soy, blending well. Add peanut and sesame oils.
      2. Rinse Chinese broccoli in a sinkful of water. Cut leaves with their stems from stalks. Halve smaller leaves; quarter larger ones and cut from stems. Peel base of larger stalks. Cut stalks on diagonal into 1½-inch pieces. Peel carrots and halve crosswise. Halve wider top parts lengthwise, then cut all into diagonal slices ¼ inch thick.
      3. Drop broccoli into plenty of boiling salted water. Return to a boil, covered. Uncover and boil 1 minute. Add carrots. Return to a boil and cook just until slices lose their raw crunch, less than a minute. Drain and refresh in cold water. Spread vegetables on towel to dry.
      4. Combine vegetables and dressing and toss. Serve at room temperature or chilled. If desired, sprinkle with peanuts.