Broccoli Stir-Fry

Wow! I made an awesome stir-fry last night and I want everyone else to have a chance to make it too. Broccoli was on sale at Whole Foods this week, and Michael and I finally found the well-stocked Asian market in town over the weekend. It looks like a wreck both inside and out – not too clean and I wouldn’t buy anything real perishable there – but they had an awesome selection of bottled stuff for me to replenish my supply of quickie Asian ingredients with. The Lee Kum Kee black bean sauce in this recipe is an old favorite that I first found with my WFM co-worker Lorraine the day we were in Eden Market in Seven Corners and the woman checking out behind us had a live fish in her cart. I had never seen anything flipping around in a shopping cart before.

2 large bunches broccoli, separated into even-sized flowerets
2 packages marinated tofu, cut into cubes

To cook:
canola or other neutral oil

2 T. sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ T. ginger, minced
3 T. black bean sauce (Lee Kum Kee brand)
2 T. red chili and garlic paste (many brands out there)
2 ½ T. sugar
2 T. mirin
1 c. water

For thickening the sauce:
2 t. cornstarch mixed with 2 t. cold water

Heat a wok or large frying pan (I make do with a frying pan) until quite hot and add a little bit of oil. Add enough broccoli to fill the pan and stir-fry for one minute. Add about 3 T. of water, cover tightly, turn down the heat a little bit and allow to steam for two minutes. Turn into a large bowl and repeat with the remaining broccoli, replenishing the oil for each batch, until all of it is cooked. Place the tofu in the pan with a little oil. Stir-fry for a minute or two, then add a few sprinkles of water and cover tightly. Allow to steam for two minutes. Add the tofu to the broccoli.

Heat the 2 T. of sesame oil in the pan over medium-high heat. When it is hot, sauté the garlic and ginger briefly, but do not allow to brown. Mix the remaining sauce ingredients together and then add them to the pan. Bring to a boil. Add the cornstarch slurry and stir until the sauce thickens. Pour the sauce over the broccoli and tofu and toss gently. Serve over rice or whole-wheat noodles.

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