Chinese broccoli in spicy oyster sauce
Small, pleasingly bitter and full of flavor, Chinese broccoli is an ideal side dish for a Chinese feast or even plain old roasted meats. Chinese broccoli looks a lot like Italian broccolini, which itself looks like a cross between asparagus and broccoli, and has the flavor to match. Still, by itself Chinese broccoli needs a little sauce to pick it up, so we’ll make a slightly spicy sauce using oyster sauce (vegetarian or regular) that will give the dish a little sweetness, a little kick and tons of tongue-teasing umami.
Yields 4 side dish-sized portions
- 1 pound Chinese broccoli
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 shallots, sliced thin
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 tablespoons oyster sauce (vegetarian or regular)
- 2 tablespoons chicken broth
- Healthy pinch sugar
- Red pepper flakes to taste
- Trim the ends off the broccoli and remove any dead leaves.
- Pour both oils into a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Once hot, add the shallots and a pinch of salt.
- Cook until you are ready to add the broccoli to the skillet (see below.)
- Bring a pot of very well-salted water to boil.
- Have a bowl of ice cold water near the stove.
- When the water is boiling, add the broccoli and boil for 3 minutes.
- After 2 minutes, add the garlic to the pan with the shallots.
- After the broccoli has been boiling for 3 minutes, remove it from the pot and plunge broccoli into the ice cold water. This will keep it from being mushy.
- After the broccoli has been dunked, remove it and shake off any excess water.
- Put the broccoli into the skillet with the oyster sauce, broth and red pepper flakes.
- Stir to mix and cook until the sauce thickens.