Broccoli Stir-Fried with Chicken

Here is the classical southern Chinese way of stir-frying vegetables with a small amount of meat (or shrimp) for seasoning the vegetable and adding a little contrasting color to the dish. In this case, because they are easy to find, the principal ingredients are broccoli and chicken. But the method works for other vegetables and meats or shrimp, The sauces are available at Asian food stores and store for months in a refrigerator, once opened. 

Serves 4-6 with rice.  

1 pound broccoli crowns

3 green onions

1/4 inch slice of fresh ginger

1 large clove garlic

1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breast

1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon sunflower or canola oil (not olive) for marinating plus 3 tablespoons for frying

2 teaspoons Chinese hoi sin sauce or oyster sauce

Salt as needed

Water as needed


Cut off a little of the base of the broccoli stem, then cut the crown into flowerets each with some stem and about 1 inch of crown part. Cut green onion, green and white parts in 1-inch lengths. Peel skin off the ginger slice and mince the ginger and the garlic together finely.

Split the chicken breast in half flat wise (“butterflied”). Thinly (1/8-inch) slice chicken breast crosswise. In a small bowl, mix the cut chicken with the cornstarch, soy sauce, pepper and 1 tablespoon of oil.. Have these ingredients ready before starting to cook.

In a wok or large frying pan, heat about 1 tablespoon of oil and stir fry the broccoli half a minute. Sprinkle lightly with salt and add half a cup of water. Stir and fry until broccoli is dark green and just starting to become tender but remains a little crisp. Transfer broccoli and any liquid to a bowl.

Clean the cooking pan briefly then reheat it. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and the minced ginger and garlic. As soon as it sizzles, add the chicken and stir and fry so the chicken changes color. Stir in the hoi sin or oyster sauce and continue to stir and fry the chicken until chicken color has lost all raw color. Add the precooked broccoli plus its liquid plus the green onion and stir and fry for fifteen seconds. Remove from the heat. 

Taste a little of the sauce and if salt is needed, stir in a little. 

Serve on a platter or wide shallow bowl. Accompany with white, unsalted rice.

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