Recipe Review: Chinese Broccoli and Five-Spice Sauce

When I brought home a bunch of Chinese broccoli from the farmers' market, I figured I'd prepare it the same way I always do: blanching followed by a quick stir-fry with soy sauce and garlic or ginger (my dad always added imitation oyster sauce). But then I started poking around the Kitchn archives and decided to try this Cookie Magazine recipe Faith linked to last summer.

This recipe starts out similar to my usual method. Whole stalks of Chinese broccoli are steamed or blanched just until tender. They should still be bright green and slightly crisp.

But then, instead of additional stir-frying, the greens are set aside to be drizzled with a butter-based sauce. I was initially wary, as I am unaccustomed to using butter in Chinese vegetables, but I soon discovered the pleasing combination of butter, soy sauce, and Chinese five-spice. Aromatic, sweet, warm, and pungent, the complex spice blend adds extra dimension to the greens. A sprinkling of roasted peanuts gives extra flavor and texture.

In addition to being tasty, this recipe was incredibly easy, and I would definitely prepare Chinese broccoli this way again (perhaps increasing the sauce recipe by a half). I'm also adding the sauce to my tricks for steamed vegetables. It would go well with regular broccoli, rapini, root vegetables, and sweet potatoes.

• Get the recipe: Chinese Broccoli from Cookie Magazine (Epicurious)

Related: Recipe: Sesame Broccoli Rabe

(Image: Emily Ho)