Broccoli Stir Fry with Ginger and Sesame

Some people get chocolate cravings. I get broccoli cravings. Sometimes I think it’s my body’s way of telling me I’ve been laying on the bacon a bit too thick (or maybe the chocolate!) But honestly I could eat broccoli every day of the year and not get tired of it. Here’s a quick and easy recipe for broccoli, stir-fried with a little ginger and sesame. The broccoli florets are quickly stir-fried initially, then steamed in a sauce of stock, sesame oil, and soy sauce. This quick cooking technique works best with the florets. Don’t discard the broccoli stalks, peel them and slice them thick and eat them raw like you would a carrot; the raw stalks are great with dips.

What’s your favorite way of preparing broccoli? Our everyday standby is steamed broccoli but we’re always looking for ideas.

Broccoli Stir Fry with Ginger and Sesame Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4.


  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce (use gluten-free soy sauce for gluten-free option)
  • 1 Tbsp dark sesame oil
  • Peanut, canola, or grapeseed oil, or some other high smoke-point cooking oil
  • 1 pound broccoli florets, rinsed, patted dry, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger


1 Toast the sesame seeds by first heating a small, stick-free sauté pan on medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and jiggle the pan so they spread out in a single layer. Let them cook until lightly browned, stirring occasionally, about 3-5 minutes. Do not walk away from them while cooking, as once they start to brown they can easily burn. Once lightly toasted remove from heat and put into a small bowl, set aside.

2 Mix the stock, soy sauce, and dark sesame oil together in a small bowl, set aside.

3 Heat 1 Tbsp of peanut (or canola or grapseed) oil in a large, covered sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the broccoli florets, stir to coat the florets with the oil, Sauté for about a minute. Clear a space in the middle of the broccoli and add the ginger and garlic. Add a little more oil to the ginger and garlic (about a teaspoon) and sauté for half a minute, stirring just the garlic and ginger, until fragrant. Then stir the garlic and ginger in with the broccoli.

4 Add the chicken (or vegetable) stock mixture to the pan. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and cover. Let cook for 2-3 minutes, until broccoli is still firm, but can be pierced with a fork. Remove from heat. Remove broccoli with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Return pan to heat, increase heat to high and boil down the liquid until just a couple tablespoons remain. Turn off heat, return broccoli to the pan, add the toasted sesame seeds, toss with the liquid. Put into a serving bowl.

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Adapted from a recipe in Vegetables Every Day by Jack Bishop. Many thanks to my blogging buddy Kalyn for the gift of this terrific book.

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  1. Alice

    My favorite: While shortly steaming the florets, I melt a few anchovy filets in olive oil with some garlic and black peper. Stir in the broccoli and serve.

  2. Alanna

    I keep a few favorite broccoli recipes taped to the inside of a cupboard door, so the recipes are never far away. Two favorites: a jar of ‘Asian stuff’ that keeps in the frig, ready for broccoli cooked in the microwave, a broccoli salad in a light dressing with fruit. I love these ‘every day’ posts, Elise!

  3. lydia

    My favorite part of the broccoli is the stalks (weird, I know). I like to peel them, slice them 1/4 inch thick, and stir fry with onions, soy sauce and a bit of chili paste with garlic.

  4. Jerry

    I think my favorite method for broccoli is simply steamed , with herbs and topped with a butter-almond sauce (Broccoli almondine). Though I also love it stir-fried, boiled and mashed, turned into a sauce… Good lawdy but the list of things that can be done with broccoli is endless!

    Now why haven’t I focused more recipes on this stuff?

    It’s time to change that.

  5. Stacia

    That sounds terrific, I’m going to have to try it soon. I love broccoli, it’s my 2nd favorite veggie after tomatoes.

    My favorite stand-by for broccoli is steamed with a quick butter sauce. While steaming, melt about 4 T of butter on low in a large pan then add 1 t dried rosemary. Add the steamed broccoli (about 1 pound) to pan. Sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste and toss to coat. Cover and leave on low to keep it warm until ready to serve. Just before serving I toss it with 1/3 C shredded asiago cheese.

  6. Kalyn

    Another really great photo. I love broccoli too, just about any way you want to cook it is fine with me. I’m always finding yet one more good recipe I want to try from this book!

  7. radish

    The recipe you mention above is how I prefer to make broccoli but I also like to add a dash of the Sriracha sauce (aka the Kickin’ Chicken sauce) to the final 10 seconds of cooking. We’re a big hot sauce household, so spiciness just makes it better!

  8. Lisa C.

    I love broccoli too! I love it best in a pan of baked Mac ‘n Cheese. I add it in with the noodles and sauce right before it hits the oven. The broccoli gets cooked in the Mac ‘n Cheese. Fresh broccoli should be steamed just a little before going in the oven, frozen broccoli is ready to go.
    My favorite Mac ‘n Cheese Recipe:
    I cut the butter down to 3 tbsp and skim milk works great. That’s always a bonus since I don’t keep whole milk on hand.

  9. Marie

    Yesterday, I discovered my new favorite way to eat broccoli: steamed, sprinkled with Frank’s Red Hot. Odd, I know, but next to some BBQ ribs, it was amazing.

  10. Marc

    One slightly less healthy way that I like broccoli is in a slow-cooked format. Nancy Silverton’s sandwich cookbook has a recipe that involves cooking onion, broccoli, garlic, and whole red chilies in a lot of olive oil over very low heat. She intends it to be eaten on a sandwich, but it is good as a side or perhaps even on pizza or pasta.

    Here’s a version of the recipe I found on the web:

  11. Dawn

    My favorite way to prepare broccoli is to roast it. Just toss the florets with some olive oil and salt, spread them out on a pan and pop them in a 425 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until they’re crisp-tender. I first had them this way at Black Bottle, a Seattle Restaurant that calls it “Blasted Broccoli” on their menu.

  12. Doris

    I, too, love broccoli, whether it is raw, steamed casseroled or whatever. For the last year or so, my favorite way to eat broccoli is microwaved and then splashed with a bit of raspberry vinegar.

  13. Eric

    I can’t believe no one has mentioned the broccoli and cheese combo yet. Most of the time I stay healthy and stick to steamed with some garlic and salt. On those other days, I top the steamed broccoli with cheese. The type doesn’t matter, cheddar is especially good, as is the mexican blend I get from the grocery store.

  14. Denise

    Yum! I love broccoli!!! My favorite way is to drizzle steamed broccoli with meyer lemon oil and add a finishing salt. But I am going to try Alice’s suggestion with the anchovy filets. I bought some anchovy filets and had no idea what to do with them – now I know! Thanks Elise & Alice ;o

  15. Claudia

    I blanch a small head of broccoli florets until tender, add to a hot pan with garlic cloves sauteed until golden in olive oil, then add about 1/2 cup of water, salt and chili flakes to taste. Cover and cook 7-8 minutes. It’s garlicky, it’s got a great velvety texture, it’s healthy & pretty low fat.

  16. Betty C.

    Blended broccoli soup! Throw in a carrot and a potato for good measure. If you have a plunger-style blender, this is very simple to make and tastes great with a little grated cheese sprinkled over it.

  17. Vladimir

    Mine is much like Claudia’s, except I cook a handful of orzo in a separate small saucepan. Meanwhile in a medium saucepan I heat up in a few cups of chicken broth with some minced garlic, a teaspoon or so of sun-dried tomatoes(in oil), and a pinch of chili flakes. When it reaches a mild boil, put in tablespoon of olive oil, and then put in the broccoli that’s cut into florets and the peeled and sliced stalks into the saucepan and cover for about 4 minutes, or until the broccoli is blanched and bright green. Pour in the cooked orzo and then pour into a shallow bowl and cover with a generous amount of grated Parmesan cheese.

  18. Lou

    My favorite is a no-fat version. To the water used to steam the broccoli florets, add some thyme, bay leaf and garlic powder. Steam the broccoli — it picks up that combination of flavors and is good without added butter, olive oil, lemon etc. but you can add that too if desired.

  19. nicole

    I totally get broccoli cravings, too … this recipe looks simply delish.

  20. gleekat

    I DO eat broccoli everyday (practically). I have two faves. My first fave is: chopped broccoli with sliced celery and sliced water chestnuts, steamed in water and soy sauce. Then topped with toasted sesame seeds. My favorite favorite favorite way??? On pizza! The best quick dinner (and I have to preface this by mentioning that I am a graduate student) is to buy a frozen “brick-oven” style 5 cheese pizza, top it with a big pile of chopped FRESH broccoli before you cook it. By the time the pizza is done the broccoli is just barely cooked. Yum!

  21. Barbara Blandford

    …. and I have always thought I was the only one with broccoli cravings!

  22. Linda

    Hi Elise,

    I love Broccoli too. Most often I steam the broccoli with split baby carrots and dried lemon peel tossed in the pot underneath the steamer insert. I also have steamed it with salt free lemon spice that has lemon peel, black pepper garlic and onion.

    I really like quiche of any kind. Broccoli and cheese is one of my favorites.

    Broccoli is great for stir frys. I blance it lst to make it tender for me.. I also chop raw broccoli in small florets with other veggies and beef and chicken. Then each person seasons and cooks his/her own bowl in the wok.

  23. Susan from Food Blogga

    A few months back, I wrote about broccolini cravings; so, I know what you mean.

  24. Sea

    Oooh, ooh, me! Pick me! Seriously, I love broccoli too and I know just what you mean about broccoli cravings. I have two favorite broccoli prep. methods. One is from my favorite Chinese Vegetarian Cookbook, and is a crunchy and yummy stir fry of broccoli and mushrooms in a sauce. (
    And my OTHER favorite way is adapted from Rachel Ray- roasted broccoli in garlic, chili powder, spices and olive oil. It is Soooo good. ( Plain steamed broccoli is a little too plain for me usually, but I will try your recipes! They all sound good… And now I want broccoli for dinner!

    (remember me, the B in Mt. View???)

  25. Amy

    I love broccoli with oyster sauce and garlic. Yum!

  26. Nina

    I just cooked this tonight, and it tasted great! I love the sesame flavor, and the meal was generally healthy.

  27. Krystal

    We like to cut op the broccoli ( I usually just get the florets and cut them a bit smaller). Get a pot of salted water boiling,toss the pasta in when the water starts rolling. In a large pan, heat up some Olive oil in a pan, add some crushed or garlic (my hubby’s garlic clove # is 4….) add the broccoli (fill the pan!!!!) when the garlic starts to cook, making sure that it doesn’t burn, add a teaspoon or so of Crushed red chili flakes and some salt. Drain the pasta, add a bit of olive oil to the pasta, toss with the broccoli.

    This is best served with Penne Pasta- my husband prefers penne regate, I like penne lisce with it and LOTS of fresh greated parmiggiano reggiano- this dish is our “quick, don’t want to cook dinner” as it takes maybe 20 minutes to prepare and cook!

  28. Molly

    For those of us that live in the boondocks and can’t get fresh ginger, could ground ginger be used? If so, how much?

  29. Rhonda

    Who knew broccoli could taste this good? This recipe is very flavorful and easy to make. I made this along with your Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce and it was an excellent meal. Can’t wait to eat the little bit of leftovers that are remaining!

  30. Sherihan

    I am a new fan of broccoli, tried that recipe two days ago, had a very nice falvor, I really liked it, although I’ll go easy with the sauce next time and use (less sodium) soy sauce coz the dish came out pretty salty.

  31. Yana

    I made this last night to serve with the panco-crusted salmon recipe and it was great. Will definitely make again. The only major change I made was using almond slices instead of sesame seeds (I much prefer almonds).

  32. Anna Marie

    I made this tonight to go with the Sesame-Orange Chicken recipe on here & the pairing was perfect!

  33. Jules

    This was great! Very crunchy and tasty broccoli

  34. Roselawaty Khalid

    Broccoli is one of my favorite veg. Cut into florets. Steam or par boil for 2mins. toss in garlic or sesame oil and sprinkle with roasted almond slices. Can be eaten when hot by itself or side dish for any roast meat.

    To make garlic oil, just fry sliced garlic in olive oil until light brown but not too brown or it’ll be bitter. Can be used in other steamed veggies or fish.

  35. Emese

    I tried this and it was AMAZING. Thanks! :-)

  36. Tracy

    Made this tonight and it wonderfully flavorful! Stuck to the original recipe. Will be making this again soon. Thanks for the recipe!

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