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March 2000 Issue
Sweet Broccoli with Pork
by Philip R. Gantt
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Welcome to Seasoned Cooking and to Phil's International Flair!

This month I am revisiting one of my favorite Chinese dishes. It is not likely that you will find this dish in any Chinese restaurant. I used this recipe to convince my children that they really did like broccoli several years ago. Amazingly, today they still like it!

I must admit that I didn't like broccoli until I grew some in my garden and tasted it fresh. Now I can even eat the market variety. This recipe, however, will make broccoli taste like candy! Just make sure not to overcook this vegetable. This recipe requires fresh broccoli -- not frozen. The texture should remain crisp and not mushy to present a contrast with the pork texture. This dish is excellent when served with fried or steamed rice. If you want to be creative, toss some sliced asparagus spears into the dish for variety.

You will find that the winter months of February and March are best for certain vegetables like asparagus, Chinese pea pods and broccoli. Take advantage of this fact to make some excellent dinner fare for the family and guests. Be well, and good eating!

The recipe presented this month are from my yet to be published cookbook, Phil's Family and Friends Cookbook. Feel free to email me at with your comments and requests.

Now, on to the recipe!

Sweet Broccoli with Pork
  • 1 bunch broccoli
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb. Lean pork, cubed (chops or roast can be used)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup cream sherry
  • 6 cloves chopped garlic
  • 3 slices fresh ginger root, slivered
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil, pork renderings or bacon grease
Rather than use oil or bacon grease for this dish, I usually trim the fat off the pork, cut it into small cubes, and fry it to render the fat.
I fry these bits of fat and meat until they are golden brown and crispy. I then serve them with a little salt as a snack or appetizer. Those who are conscious about their fat intake should use a suitable vegetable oil instead, and discard the fat. My grandmother made these for me when I was a child, and I still like them to this day. She called them chicharonies.
Cut the pork into 1 inch cubes and salt and pepper to taste. Mix the sugar, soy sauce and sherry in a bowl and set aside.
In a skillet or wok, heat the oil with the garlic and ginger. Put the pork into the hot oil and stir fry for five to eight minutes, or until the pork is browned on all sides. Next, add the broccoli and stir fry with the broccoli until the broccoli turns a bright green, about 1 to 2 minutes. Do not overcook the broccoli.
Pour the mixture of soy sauce, sugar and sherry into the broccoli and stir briefly. Reduce the heat to a minimum and cover the ingredients. Wait one minute and serve.
  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes



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