• Stir-fried broccoli stems with wood ear mushrooms (Adam Liaw)Source: Adam Liaw

While broccoli florets tend to get all the love, broccoli stems are also perfect for stir-fries. The stems are milder, sweeter and a little creamier than the florets, full of nutrients, and have a soft crunch to them.






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  • ½ cup dried wood ear mushrooms
  • 4 broccoli stalks
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 long red chilli, halved, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 3 thin slices ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • ½ tsp chicken stock powder
  • salt, to taste
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch mixed into ¼ cup cold water
  • steamed rice, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Standing time: 10 minutes

  1. Soak the mushrooms in plenty of boiling water for about 10 minutes. Using kitchen scissors trim away the woody part. Using a knife, cut away the outer portion of the broccoli stalks and slice the tender centre part into ½ cm slices.
  2. Heat a wok over medium heat and add the oil, then the chilli and ginger. Fry for about 30 seconds, then add the broccoli stalks and toss to coat in the flavoured oil. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then add the mushrooms and toss to coat well. Add the chicken stock powder, salt and sugar and toss until the broccoli stalks are tender. You can add a little water if it's looking dry.
  3. Drizzle in just a little of the cornstarch slurry while shaking the wok, then transfer to a serving plate and serve with steamed rice.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Adam Liaw.