Simple Cooking - Spicy/Brown Sugar Broccoli

By Anthony Todd in Food on May 21, 2009 4:40PM

We’re not ashamed to admit it - we love broccoli. To be honest, it’s probably our favorite vegetable, barely ahead of that other childhood favorite, Brussels Sprouts. Are we crazy? Vegan? Chlorophyll Deficient? No - we simply believe that, properly prepared, these are some of the tastiest veggies around.

Preparation is key. Many people are right to turn up their noses at limp, boiled-to-death broccoli, with its stringy texture and gray color. The correct treatment for this vegetable is sautéing or stir-frying, to preserve its crispness and flavor. And this recipe, which combines soy,
brown sugar and cayenne pepper, will convert even the most devoted hater of broccoli. If you’re trying to convince a child who hates spicy food, tone down the pepper - it’ll still be a hit.
Spicy/Brown Sugar Broccoli

1 pound of broccoli, florets detached.
2 tbsp ginger, grated
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp cornstarch, mixed with 2 tbsp water
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Vodka (optional)

Combine the soy sauce, cornstarch, brown sugar and cayenne in a small bowl. Whisk thoroughly to dissolve the sugar. In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil.

Whenever you sauté broccoli, be sure to add enough oil - it absorbs it very quickly and will burn if there isn’t enough. Looking to make your broccoli go further? Try peeling and slicing the stems and adding them to the pan - they taste great!

Fry the garlic and ginger in the oil for 1 minute. Add the broccoli and saute for 2 minutes. Add the sauce, tossing well with the broccoli. Cook for another 2 minutes - uncovered if you like crisp, covered if you prefer slightly softer. When you finish cooking, sprinkle with the vodka for an extra kick. Serve immediately!