Stir-Fried Broccoli

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: 30 minutes

Broccoli is made for stir-fry: you get some crunch from the stems (cut them fairly thin so they’ll cook quickly) and tenderness from the florets, and no precooking is needed. And you can use broccoli as a main ingredient in just about any recipe in this book.

If you have leftover cooked broccoli, by all means use it. Just keep the cooking time to a minimum, no longer than it takes to heat the broccoli through.

2 tablespoons peanut or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn

About 11/2 pounds broccoli, trimmed, the stems cut into pieces no more than 1/8 inch thick

Salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup vegetable stock or water

2 tablespoons soy sauce

Put the oil in a wok or large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the broccoli, raise the heat to high, and cook, stirring, until it becomes bright green and glossy and begins to brown, about 5 minutes.

Add salt to taste, the sugar, and the stock. Stir and continue to cook until almost all of the liquid evaporates and the broccoli is tender, about 5 minutes more. Stir in the soy sauce, taste and adjust the seasoning, and serve.

Variation

Stir-Fried Broccoli with Dried Shiitakes. Now you’re adding chewiness and more flavor: Soak about 1/4 cup dried black (shiitake) mushrooms in 1 cup very hot water until tender, changing the water if necessary. Drain them, reserving the liquid, trim them, and cut them up. In Step 1, add the mushrooms along with the broccoli. In Step 2, add 1 teaspoon minced garlic and 1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger along with the salt and sugar. Stir for 15 seconds before adding the strained mushroom soaking liquid in place of the stock. Finish as directed.