Sunday, May 13, 2012

Spicy Stir-Fried Broccoli Stems Recipe

Spicy Stir-Fried Broccoli Stems
This recipe is for everyone who likes to nibble the broccoli stems when they're cutting up the broccoli!

Broccoli stems are one of those under-appreciated vegetable parts that don't get much respect, yet when I'm cutting up stalks of broccoli, they're my favorite part to nibble on.  After I realized how much I liked them, a few years ago I started to save the stems in the vegetable crisper.  I've mostly used my broccoli stem bounty in salads, but this idea for cooking the stems with a spicy sauce is something I came up with when I had a whole pound of stems saved up.  I cooked them in a wok, but a large frying pan will work, and if you've never eaten the broccoli stems, this recipe just might turn you into a fan.

I'm glad I made this before I took off on my trip to California so I wouldn't have to fall short on my pledge to post a Meatless Monday recipe every Sunday.  I ate this as a main dish for lunch the day I made it, but you might use it as a meatless side dish with something like Whole Wheat Sesame Noodles or Stir-Fried Tofu.   (You can find more meatless recipes by using the label Meatless Monday or checking Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index, and I'm also doing a meatless slow cooker recipe each Monday on Slow Cooker from Scratch.  For more Meatless Monday ideas from other bloggers, check Meatless Monday at BlogHer, where I write a weekly post spotlighting one of the fabulous meatless recipe ideas I find around the web.)

First cut off the ends of the broccoli stalks, which might be kind of brown if the broccoli has been in the fridge for a while.

Use a sharp knife to cut away the smaller ribs and leftover pieces of leaves.

Then use a sharp vegetable peeler to peel the stems.

I like to cut them stems on the diagonal, which I think looks nice and helps them to cook evenly.

Mix the soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, Chili Garlic sauce, and sweetener of your choice to make the sauce.

Heat the wok over high heat for one minute, add the oil and heat 30 seconds, then add the garlic and cook about 45 seconds.  Then add the broccoli stems and start to stir-fry.

Continue to cook the broccoli stems until they are starting to brown but are still crisp, about 6 minutes.

Then lower the heat to medium, add the sauce, and cook about 1 minute.  Serve hot, garnished with green onions if desired.

Spicy Stir-Fried Broccoli Stems
(Makes about 4 side-dish servings; recipe created by Kalyn to feed her craving for broccoli stems.)

1 lb. broccoli stems (about 8 thick stems)
1 T oil (I used peanut oil but grapeseed oil would also be good)
1 T minced garlic
1/4 cup diagonally sliced green onion for garnish (optional)

Sauce Ingredients:
1 T soy sauce (I used low sodium soy sauce)
2 tsp. Hoisin sauce
2 tsp. Chili Garlic Sauce
1 T Splenda, Stevia granulated sweetener, or sugar

Cut off both ends of the broccoli stems, trimming away any discolored parts.  Use a sharp knife to trim extra leaves or ribs from the stems and then peel with a sharp vegetable peeler.  Cut the peeled stems on the diagonal into slices about 1/2 inch thick.

In a small glass mixing cup or bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, Chili Garlic Sauce, and sweetener of your choice.  Mince the garlic and thinly slice the green onions.

Heat a wok or large heavy frying pan over high heat for one minute.  Add the oil and heat for 30 seconds more, or until the oil is shimmering.  Add the garlic and stir-fry about 30 seconds, or until the garlic is fragrant.  (Watch carefully and don't let it get brown.)

Add the broccoli stems and cook, turning often, until the broccoli stems are starting to get slightly browned, but are still a little crisp, about 6 minutes.  Lower heat to medium, add the sauce and cook stirring for one minute more.  Serve hot, with green onions scattered over for garnish if desired.

South Beach Suggestions:
If you're making this recipe for the South Beach Diet, you'll need to use Splenda or Stevia for the sweetener.  Hoisin sauce is relataively high in sugar, but since the amount per serving in this recipe is only half a teaspoon, I would still eat this for any phase of the diet.

More Tasty Ways to Use Broccoli Stems:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Asian Chopped Salad with Broccoli Stems, Sugar Snap Peas, Radishes, Red Cabbage, and Almonds from Kalyn's Kitchen
Broccoli Slaw Salad with Honey Mustard Yogurt Dressing from The Perfect Pantry
Quick Marinated Broccoli Stems from Not Eating Out in New York
Broccoli, Potato, and Bacon Hash from Steamy Kitchen
Super Simple Broccoli Stem Soup from Clean and Delicious with Dani Spies
Broccoli Stem and Cherry Salad from Food Mayhem
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.) counter customizable free hit
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More to Chew On:


  1. I always just throw the stems into a stir fry if I'm making it but if I'm using the broccoli for anything else, they usually just get tossed! I love the idea of making a dish with them all their own.

  2. I don't usually use the broccoli stems - but that is going to change now!

  3. I hate to admit that the stems don't always get put to good use, but you're right - lots of nutrition and good eating there. And you sure created a nice presentation, too!

  4. I love it that I'm inspiring you guys to eat your broccoli stems! So tasty.

  5. I just laughed out loud, Kalyn. Once again, I couldn't help but think you and my husband really need to go to dinner together! He LOVES the stems and actually prefers them to the crowns. This is a great recipe and so pretty. I'll admit, I never peel the stems but I'm going to try it next time. Have a great Monday!!

  6. This is a brilliant recipe, Kalyn! Not only does it include some of the flavors I enjoy the most, but it helps to use up those leftover broccoli stems.

  7. Kelley, that is so funny. I think we must get together for a dinner! Do try peeling the stems. Sometimes I leave a little of the peel on if it's tender, but usually not much.

    Thanks Dara, love the idea of using something that might get thrown away.

  8. I've always cooked the broccoli stems as well. But I cut them into 2" x 0.25" sticks. They're my favorite part!

  9. Stephanie, I think I must try cutting them into sticks!

  10. Best. Recipe. Ever!! I always just throw the stalks away, and I feel like such a waster. I just bought some broccoli today and I am going to make this tonight! Thanks Kalyn! This is awesome!

  11. I love the stems and never waste them. Am I going to sound strange if I say I actually like the stems better? Thanks for another great recipe!

  12. Not strange at all! I think I like them best too, although I do like broccoli in general a lot!

  13. I really like this idea. I always feel so guilty composting those sturdy broccoli stems, but I really didn't know what else to do with them but save them for vegetable broth. Terrific idea!

  14. I never thought of cooking them that way. I do steam them with garlic, sliced very thinly and then use them as a nice bit of crunch in a salad.

    I will certainly try them your way - I hate waste! Thanks you for another great idea.

  15. Mother Rimmy, I agree, they are far too good for compost!

    Pat, I like the idea of steaming them.

  16. I love broccoli stems, too! I'm going to save some up and make this!

  17. I've never used the broccoli stems, but I'll give it a try over the weekend.

  18. Kalyn, what do you think about making this with BOTH broccoli florets and the stems together? My boyfriend hates the stems, so I always end up throwing them out, but I love them and would love to try out this recipe! Maybe this would convince him otherwise! :)

  19. Nicole, hope you enjoy it!

    Mike, I bet you will like the stems!

    I think you could make this with both the stems and broccoli flowerets, but I would cook the stems for a minute or two before you add the other pieces.

  20. Kalyn, GREAT idea!!!! I usually just steam them and eat them with the florets (I'm too frugal to waste them), but this is a WAY better idea!!!!!

  21. I do use stems, but usually with the florets. Love the idea of saving them for a dish like this. YUM. Especially the spicy part!

  22. Kelly it was really good. I had a hard time not eating the whole plate!

  23. Kalyn,love this. Growing up, we always used the broccoli stems and to this day, I roast them or stir-fry them. Love the sauce you used.

  24. This is so innovative. You have made very good use of these to create such a wonderful dish! Loved the way the dish looks...I could have never guessed by the picture that it is actually broccoli stem!

  25. This is brilliant!! It always infuriates me that you buy broccoli by the pound but end up discarding the heaviest parts - the stems -- this recipe is a perfect use for them!

  26. I really like step by step photo instructions. Another great way to eat your vegetables :). Love your blog.

  27. Wow, I would have never guessed that was broccoli stems probably because I usually throw mine out. Great recipe!

  28. Awesome! I clicked on the first picture thinking they were potatoes. My daughter likes broccoli stems and hates the florets. I'll have to try this!

  29. This recipe sounds delicious and I am definitely going to try it! I have one small question though: how spicy is it? I can't handle really spicy foods because I have sensitive taste buds. Also, if it is really spicy, how can I minimize the heat without compromising the taste?

  30. The spiciness is all in the chili garlic sauce. I would start with half the amount and taste the sauce to see if you can handle it more spicy than that.

  31. Thanks for all your good recipes, which I discovered on Pinterest. Will definitely try this one, the sauce looks great. Just wanted to offer this variation from a similar dish that I make -- I use half sliced carrots and half sliced broccoli stems.

  32. Glad you are enjoying the recipes, and I do like the idea of using carrots with the broccoli stems!

  33. This looks goon...put on my must try list!


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