Stir-Fried Broccoli with Chili-Garlic Sauce

27 Jul

Chinese food has long been my go-to comfort food.  No matter where I live, there’s always at least one hole-in-the-wall Chinese food restaurant where the waiters know my face and ask if I want “the usual” (“the usual” for me is won-ton soup and beef and broccoli).  I always knew that I should be able to make this at home, given how much I eat it, but I always just left it to the professionals because the ingredient lists were daunting and I didn’t have a wok.  Until this recipe.  I still don’t have a wok, but I’ve certainly got a new way to whip up some broccoli quickly when I get home from work, since I had 75% of the ingredients already in my fridge.

I ran to the store to pick up some ingredients–my local Vons had no chili-garlic sauce, but they did have a giant $10 bottle of sesame oil.  No way! I would be skipping sesame oil and the sherry, because I just didn’t want to spend the money.  So I headed to Whole Foods, since they have a strangely more international section than any super grocery store for the chili-garlic sauce.  Lo and behold, they had a smaller $5 bottle of sesame oil and I grabbed it.  Once I got home, I opened the bottle of sesame oil and hesitated before taking a sniff…and that one sniff changed my whole perspective of making Chinese food at home.  Sesame oil IS the smell of Chinese food!  I couldn’t believe that all this time I had been foregoing what was probably the most important ingredient of Chinese food.  No wonder it never tasted as good as what I got from the local take-out place!

Stir-Fried Broccoli with Chili-Garlic Sauce
Serves 2
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Cooking for Two 2011

  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Asian chili-garlic sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 12 ounces broccoli florets
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  1. In small bowl, whisk broth, soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch together until well combined
  2. In second small bowl, combine 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil, garlic and red pepper flakes
  3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.  Add broccoli and sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until broccoli is well browned, 5-7 minutes.
  4. Stir in garlic-oil mixture and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds.  Add broth-soy sauce mixture and toss until broccoli is evenly coated.

2 Responses to “Stir-Fried Broccoli with Chili-Garlic Sauce”

  1. Ace July 27, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    Maybe it’s just me, but I always found it strange that so much chinese food as garlic in it. I guess I just always associated garlic with Italian food and thought it was strange to find it anywhere else. Not that I don’t put it in, I just always giggled to myself when I saw it on the ingredients list. 🙂 Awesome recipe love!

  2. Emily July 27, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    You know me, I can eat garlic raw and be happy. I went to The Stinking Rose, an all garlic restaurant, and was disappointed in the lack of garlic in the dishes…except for the garlic ice cream. That was AWESOME! I’m trying to convince Daniel to take me to the Garlic Festival this weekend 😀

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