Fresh, crunchy, healthy and very easy to cook, purple sprouting broccoli and prawn stir-fry is a great seasonal dish to try.
I bought three purple vegetables and fruit from the local market last weekend: aubergine, blue berry and another vegetable that I’ve never seen before, purple sprouting broccoli, a cousin of regular broccoli. In our Red House, we have broccoli at least once a week. This week I cooked purple sprouting broccoli and prawn, stir-fried with garlic and crunchy baby corns.
Apparently, purple sprouting broccoli is commonly available in Britain during the Spring (between February and April). Unlike regular broccoli’s big dome-like floret, purple sprouting broccoli has smaller, individual florets and thinner stems.
According to my online research, its florets lose the beautiful deep purple colour when boiled or steamed. I guessed it might keep the colour if cooked for a shorter time, quickly stir-fried for example.
Purple sprouting broccoli and prawn stir-fry confirmed my assumption. All the lovely florets were still purple on the serving plate. It takes less time to cook than cook regular broccoli. In terms of taste, I would say they are very similar. Purple sprouting broccoli seems to have a hint of bitterness, which is rather pleasant.
On Chinese dinner tables, either at home or in restaurants, stir-fried greens are a must for multi-dish meals. Garlic, oil and salt, that’s all you need to prepare a plate of delicious vegetable.
For this recipe, please be generous with garlic. You may slice them (for a better look) or crush them (for a stronger taste). I like broccoli stir-fried on its own. But sometimes I add prawns for protein.
A few tips on cooking prawns:
- If you wish to achieve a more appealing look, put prawns flat on a chopping board then cut sideways from the back (Do not cut through).
- To marinate them, you may replace rice wine with white wine.
- For best texture, do not overcook them. That is why you need to fry them on their own, then combine them with the cooked broccoli and baby corn.
What I like most about this purple sprouting broccoli and prawn stir-fry is its simplicity. The natural flavour of the vegetables is not overpowered by seasoning. It’s fresh, crunchy and super healthy, a great seasonal dish to try.
Purple sprouting broccoli and prawn stir-fry
- Put prawns flat on a chopping board then cut sideways from the back (Do not cut through). Marinate the prawns with rice wine and corn starch for 5 mins.
- Heat up the oil in a wok (or a deep frying pan) on a high heat. Stir in the marinated prawns. Cook until they curl up and become pink (do not overcook). Transfer to a plate.
- Turn the heat down to medium. Add garlic into the remaining oil. Leave to sizzle until fragrant. Stir in broccoli florets, baby corn and soy sauce.
- Pour the prawns back into the wok when the vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with salt. Stir for another 30 seconds or so.