When I was in Korea, broccoli wasn’t easy to find, so it wan’t a familiar vegetable in Korean cuisine. I only saw in specialty import shops in local markets and in the imported food section at large department stores. Probably it’s more widely available in Korea these days, but at that time it was a specialty item. But of course here in New York City I can find it anywhere, at a reasonable price
I’ve never liked raw broccoli – I just don’t like the texture. It’s too tough, and no matter how much I chew it, it never seems to get chewed enough. And the aftertaste is not that good, either. So I have to put a bit of work into this nutritious vegetable before I like to eat it, usually by pickling or steaming.
One of my favorite BBQ places of all time is Fette Sau in Brooklyn. They make a delicious broccoli salad as a side dish for their BBQ and customers never miss ordering it with their beef brisket, including me. It’s really tasty, but it has a lot of olive oil, so it looks and tastes really oily. It’s ok once in a while, but I couldn’t eat it all the time.
One time after going to Fette Sau, I got the idea for this recipe. When I came home, I experimented with steaming methods to figure out how to do it without hassle. I also worked on reducing the amount of oil and added crushed chili peppers and vinegar, which makes it a little Korean. The taste turned out fantastic, and I knew that I wanted to share this recipe with all my readers!
Springtime is here, so it’s a great time to eat this fresh vegetable, and this recipe makes it even fresher and brighter. BBQ season is right around the corner, so when you eat this, don’t forget to say: “Let’s eat a broccoli tree!” : )
- 2 heads of broccoli (1½ pounds)
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon of crushed hot pepper (optional)
- ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon of white or apple cider vinegar
- Thoroughly wash the broccoli in cold water to remove any dirt from between the florets.
- Cut off the tough tip of the stem of each head of broccoli, then cut the heads lengthwise along the individual florets, toward the stem and about 4 inch long. Each piece will look like a little tree.
- Place the broccoli trees into a pot and add ¼ cup water. Bring to a boil with the lid closed for 10 minutes over medium high heat.
- Open the lid, drain, and let it cool down for a few minutes.
- Make a coating sauce by combining the olive oil, kosher salt, sugar, garlic, dried and crushed chili pepper, ground black pepper, and vinegar in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the broccoli to the coating sauce and mix it all together.
- Serve warm or cold as a side dish for barbecue or any type of meat dish, or as a snack.