Thursday, September 1, 2011

Broccoli with Garlic Sauce

This dish is a personal one for use, a dish we make to transport us back to a specific time and place.  The place was Philadelphia, and the time was college.  Whether it was a quick lunch between classes, a brief chance to see each other during the day, or an evening in the labs working late, this Chinese food cart had us covered day in and day out.  The Styrofoam container held a familiar, comforting meal, stir fried broccoli smothered in spicy garlic sauce, laid on a bed of rice.  For three dollars a piece, it had everything we needed to be happy.  Here is our attempt to recreate it.

3 tablespoons oyster sauce
3/8 cup chicken broth
5 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons chili paste
1 and a half heads of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon peanut oil, plus 1 teaspoon
splash sesame oil
4 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
3 bunches of broccoli

In small bowl, whisk together oyster sauce, chicken broth, soy sauce, vinegars, and chili paste.  In another small bowl, whisk cornstarch and water and set aside.  Heat peanut oil in wok and cook broccoli in peanut oil, a splash of sesame oil and just a bit of water until the center of stalks become only slightly translucent yet remain crispy.  Remove broccoli and remove any water or oil that is left from cooking.  Heat a teaspoon or so of peanut oil and the splash of sesame oil on medium-low heat and cook garlic for about a minute (don’t let it burn).  Turn heat to medium low and add sauce.  Stir in sugar and bring sauce to a boil (continue to stir).  Add cornstarch and water mixture and cook on medium low for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add cooked broccoli to sauce and toss.  Serve with rice.

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