Kung Pao Broccoli

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | February 17th, 2010 | Healthy Cooking, Recipes, Side Dishes

After a week and a half away from my kitchen, I was excited to spend some quality time cooking last night.  Sadly, the reason for my kitchen absence was not a vacation to a tropical island nor a business trip in a fun city; a kitchen-based injury was the basis.  Needless to say, my mandolin and I are not on speaking terms.  It even may take some online therapy to repair our relationship.

So. . .after a week and a half of letting others prepare meals and making the simplest of dishes on my own, I was ready to embark on a culinary journey.  With a snowstorm forecast for Tuesday, I gambled on having two assistants while preparing the menu.  Fortunately, school was canceled, which meant the kids’ evening events were also.  Ta-da! Instant help!

Still working at a slightly limited capacity, I put my two foodies-in-training to work.  They made pork filling for dumplings and assembled them.  (They were fabulous!)  They also did most of my chopping and dicing work.  While it took 1-1/2 hours to create our entire, belated Chinese New Year meal, it was worth every second.  We got to spend time working together with minimal bickering (which is a miracle when the kids are 11 and 13) and produce a meal that everyone loved.

Being me, I wanted there to be at least one veggie dish on the menu, so we created Kung Pao Broccoli.  Simply substitute fresh broccoli for meat, and you have a whole new dish.  To keep it healthier, we stir fried the broccoli instead of deep frying it.  Everyone had a serving of it, without being coerced into doing so, and enjoyed it.


Kung Pao Broccoli


  1. 1 lb. broccoli florets
  2. 1 Tb. water
  3. 1 tsp. cornstarch
  4. 3 Tb. low sodium soy sauce
  5. 1 Tb. red wine vinegar
  6. 1 Tb. sugar
  7. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  8. 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  9. sesame oil, optional
  1. Heat a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Coat pan with 1-2 tablespoons of peanut oil, if desired.
  2. Add broccoli, and saute for 5-6 minutes, or until crisp tender. While broccoli is cooking combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl.
  3. Add soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar, and stir well. Add garlic to broccoli, and saute for 1 minute. Add soy sauce mixture, and cook for 1-2 minutes more.
  4. Top with walnuts and a few drops of sesame oil, if desired. Serve immediately.
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  1. It’s really frustrating to not be able to cook… I just got back into the kitchen after a good 5 weeks without cooking! Glad you’re feeling better. This dish looks delicious – I love broccoli.

  2. […] When I began planning the menu for our delayed Chinese New Year dinner, I had certain dishes in mind.  As we had ground pork in our freezer, I wanted to try making pork dumplings.  With my husband and our 13 year old being big fans of fried rice, that was on the list.  And, of course, trying to keep some healthiness to the menu, I decided to make Kung Pao Broccoli. […]

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