Broccoli and sweetened coconut shreds? Let’s just say I was as much curious as I was dubious about this recipe. My curiosity won out in the end and discovered I liked this easy and flavorful side dish.
Broccoli florets are blanched in boiling salted water for a few minutes until crisp-tender. The florets are removed from the pot and shocked in a ice water bath. This stops the cooking process and preserves the bright green color. Drain the broccoli and dry well with paper towels. If the broccoli is too wet it will water down the dressing.
Aromatics, garlic, ginger and a pinch of spicy red pepper flakes are sautéed in a neutral oil until fragrant. Toss in the broccoli to coat and season with salt and pepper. Tamari and mirin are added to the pan and reduced to make a easy sauce. Tamari is a soy sauce that is made without wheat and has a milder and richer taste compared to regular soy sauce. Low sodium soy sauce could also be used in this recipe. Mirin, like sake, is a rice wine but with a higher sugar and lower alcohol content. The sweet flavor of mirin is a nice contrast to a saltier sauce like soy or tamari.
Reduce the liquid by half, then remove the broccoli to a serving platter. The sauce left behind in the pan is poured over the broccoli and the coconut shreds are sprinkled on top. I found the coconut added another dimension of flavor and was balanced out nicely by the sweet and salty sauce.
Asian Broccoli with Coconut
- 1 lb bite sized broccoli florets
- 1 T canola oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 T minced fresh ginger
- Dash of red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 T tamari soy sauce
- 1 T mirin
- 1 T sweetened coconut flakes
- Bring water to a boil in a 6-quart pot over high heat. Add florets and bring back to a boil. Cook until just tender 2-3 minutes
- Remove broccoli with a slotted spoon to an ice water bath and let sit until cool, 5 minutes. Drain the broccoli and dry well on paper towels.
- Heat oil in a 12-inch sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes until fragrant, 1 minute. Gently toss in the broccoli to coat in the oil. Season with ¾ teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the soy and mirin. Gently toss broccoli until liquid is reduced by half and broccoli is warmed through, 2-3 minutes. Remove broccoli to a medium serving platter. Pour soy over broccoli. Sprinkle shredded coconut over top.