Lee Wan Ching's Chinese Broccoli with Ginger Sauce Excerpted from The Breath of a Wok: Unlocking the Spirit of Chinese Wok Cooking Through Recipes and Lore by Grace Young (Simon & Schuster, 2004). © 2004 by Grace Young.
Serves 4 as part of a multicourse meal
Chef Lee Wan Ching of Yee Hen restaurant on Lantau Island, Hong Kong, taught me this recipe. Traditionally ginger is always cooked with broccoli - its warmth balances the coolness of yin vegetables such as broccoli. Just a small amount of ginger juice intensifies the flavor of the vegetables. To make ginger juice, grate a small amount of ginger and then squeeze it with your fingers to extract the juice.
1. Cut the broccoli stalks in half lengthwise if more than 1/2 inch in diameter. Cut the stalks and leaves into 2-inch-long pieces, keeping the stalk ends separate from the leaves. In a small bowl combine the broth, rice wine, ginger juice, cornstarch, salt, and sugar.
2. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the oil, add the ginger, and stir-fry 10 seconds or until the ginger is fragrant. Add only the broccoli stalks and stir-fry 1 to 1-1/2 minutes until the stalks are bright green. Add the leaves and stir-fry 1 minute until the leaves are just limp. Stir the broth mixture and swirl it into the wok. Stir-fry 1 minute or until the sauce has thickened slightly and lightly coats the vegetables.