Healthy Chinese Broccoli


My favorite Chinese take-out to order has always been broccoli: Beef and broccoli, mushroom and broccoli, bean curd and broccoli. They just know how to do something to broccoli that makes it taste good. No doubt it’s full of sodium and sugar, which is part of why I wanted to make this myself. The other reason is, well, who doesn’t want to have delicious take-out food at half the cost whenever they feel like it?

Whether or not this is “healthy” you can debate. It has added sugar and a modest amount of sodium. Corn starch isn’t too “clean” an ingredient either. But I think making it for yourself, using ingredients you can see and touch, and being aware of what’s in your food is a pretty darn healthy way to live.

Healthy Chinese Broccoli

Ingredients(Makes 4 servings):

  • 4 cups raw broccoli
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, julienned
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoon water
  • 1 Tablespoon corn starch or tapioca starch



  1. In a large pan, heat the sesame oil over a burner set to medium heat.
  2. Sauté the garlic in the sesame oil until lightly browned.
  3. In a small cup, mix the sugar, rice vinegar, and soy sauce until the sugar has mostly dissolved.
  4. Add the broccoli, onion, and sugar mixture into the pan and cover with a lid until the broccoli has steam cooked and turned bright green.
  5. While continuing to cook, remove the lid and mix together the contents of the pan until everything is covered in sauce.
  6. Dissolve the starch into 2 tablespoons of water and pour it into the pan to mix with the sauce.
  7. Cook until all the excess water has evaporated and the broccoli is covered in sauce. Plate and serve hot. 


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12 Responses to Healthy Chinese Broccoli
  1. Janel
    August 9, 2011 | 9:08 am

    I love all things broccoli and I’m with you, Chinese broccoli is the best! I think this dish is going on the menu here this week since I’ve got some broccoli hanging out in the fridge – thanks!

  2. Faith @ For the Health of It
    August 9, 2011 | 9:14 am

    I totally feel ya on the reasoning! I know what all of those ingredients are, I’m down with a dish! And heck, compared to the traditional restaurant prepared broccoli, it practically looks like the cleanest recipe ever!

  3. Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn
    August 9, 2011 | 9:46 am

    Awwwwyeah brothafriend, better than takeout!

  4. Gina @ Running to the Kitchen
    August 9, 2011 | 1:37 pm

    I love replicating chinese take out, so easy and simple. My fav is the one with cashew in it though 🙂

  5. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
    August 9, 2011 | 5:30 pm

    looks good to me. way better than the americanized chinese food that is passed off as “healthy” in most places!

  6. Kristina @ spabettie
    August 9, 2011 | 10:19 pm

    this looks AMAZING, Evan! broccoli has always been one of my favorites, and being able to make a healthy version of the classic Chinese flavor? Mmm!

  7. The Candid RD
    August 10, 2011 | 7:18 am

    YUM. How about put that runny egg OVER the veggies?! Yeah!

  8. Kierstan @ Life {and running} in Iowa
    August 10, 2011 | 9:23 am

    I made this for dinner last night and it was awesome! I did make a few changes: used honey instead of sugar, added a jalapeno, 8 ounces of white mushrooms and served with pan fried tofu.



  9. Barefeet In The Kitchen
    August 10, 2011 | 11:39 am

    This looks fantastic! I’m going to try it soon. Thanks!

  10. Skylar
    August 11, 2011 | 4:23 pm

    Looks great! My wife will not eat broccoli unless it’s stir fried, I make something very similar to this and love it each and every time

  11. Kita
    August 12, 2011 | 4:07 pm

    Broccoli is one of the few veggies I can serve in this house without protest. We love it and you are right – Chinese take out does always make broccoli taste amazing. I do not want to know the ancient secret to that one though. 😉 Your’s sounds wonderful!

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    August 23, 2011 | 4:07 pm

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