Spicy Sauteed Broccoli

The key to perfecting this dish is to not only use finely minced garlic, but also charred whole cloves for a wallop of flavor.

Traveling in Thailand, I ordered pad pak boong (stir-fried morning glory, also known as water spinach) anytime I saw it on the menu. Simple in its execution, it was the most unexpected and delightful treat – the perfect supplement to every meal. Water spinach is a thick, hearty spinach with a hollow stem. It can be a little tricky to find this time of year, so I’ve substituted Chinese broccoli in this recipe, which is equally delicious. The key to perfecting this dish is to not only use finely minced garlic, but also charred whole cloves for a wallop of flavor. I love the inclusion of fresh-squeezed lime juice, as well, to brighten up the greens.

Spicy Chinese Broccoli

Serves | 4 |

  • 9 cloves garlic, divided
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 bird’s eye chiles, minced
  • 1 tsp black bean garlic sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1½ lbs Chinese broccoli, stems peeled and split into two pieces
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ lime

| Preparation | Mince 3 cloves of garlic and set aside. In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Add 6 whole cloves of garlic and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until garlic starts to soften and brown. Add minced garlic, bird’s eye chiles, black bean garlic sauce, fish sauce and sugar. Almost immediately, add broccoli and season with salt; toss with tongs to incorporate. Add water and cover; steam broccoli until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a platter and squeeze lime over broccoli. Serve warm.

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Amanda Elliott is the chef at Peachtree Catering in Columbia, Missouri, and authors the website rusticsupper.com, where she shares recipes centered on the idea of the communal table and embracing the heritage of food through travel.

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