At Christmas and Hanukkah time, my food-related thoughts go straight to starch and sugar. I can spend hours planning which cookies I’ll make, or devising latke variations. Ogling my storehouse of cookie decorations, grating potatoes and using up more butter, sugar and flour than I care to inventory is pretty much my modus operandi at this time of the year.
The recipe does have an extra step (before stir-frying) – quickly cooking the broccoli for just about 1 minute in rapidly boiling water – a technique called blanching that will turn the broccoli a bright green and tenderize it before the stir-fry. But if you set out all the ingredients near the wok (mise en place) before you start stir-frying and use a cheat sheet to remind you of the steps if you’re like me and need help remembering the steps as you cook, you can make frangrant and crunchy stir-fried ginger broccoli in less than 5 minutes.
The key to the ginger taste is slightly smashed ginger slices and ginger juice, obtained by grating ginger and squeezing out the juice. In Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge, the recipe uses double the amount of ginger juice. I used the larger amount and it wasn’t overwhelming at all.
Here is a slightly adapted version of the recipe, along with a video of Grace preparing this dish. (I didn’t find the video until after I made the broccoli.)
I did “invent” 2 variations on Grace’s methods besides my tip for peeling ginger:
Using a clean white handkerchief to squeeze out the ginger juice. That technique worked beautifully and I recommend it. I keep the handkerchief in the kitchen for fine straining; it works well when a fine strainer or cheesecloth would allow bits of the item begin squeezed to come through, but the handkerchief keeps all the solids out of the liquid and you can throw the pulp away after you have squeezed out all the juice. This handkerchief was my dad’s and using it is a nice way to bring his memory into the kitchen. If you don’t have one on hand, you can buy all-cotton handkerchiefs inexpensively at Sears, Target, Amazon and elsewhere.
Using the pestle (the club-shaped pounder) from one of my mortar and pestle sets to smash the ginger instead of the back of a knife. I am notoriously clumsy and avoid using knives in creative ways whenever possible.
I served the ginger broccoli with Asian-style turkey meatballs and rice.
The next night I didn’t have any broccoli left over (because my darling taste taster had taken the rest of the broccoli to work for lunch), but I did have rice. With a bunch of chopped up vegetables and 2 eggs, I used the rice to make scrumptious peppery fried rice with toasted pine nuts.