A vegan hot and sour treatment for broccoli, based on the famous Sichuan dish, Kung Pao Chicken
First of all cut the broccoli into long, slim pieces. Basically use any of the broccoli that is not woody. The whole plant - including the leaves - is edible and delicious. If at all possible, leave it for 30 minutes before adding it to the dish. This aids tremendously to how much of the key plant compound - sulforaphane - that we can use.
Mix up the stir fry ingredients in a small jug or bowl and set aside.
Heat your wok over a medium high heat and dry toast the Sichuan peppercorns. Decant them into a mortar and grind to a nubbly powder with the pestle. You can leave the peppercorns whole if you wish, but they can be quite overpowering whole.
Heat the oil over a medium flame and add the garlic, ginger, spring onions, carrots and dried chillies, if using. Stir fry for five minutes. Some of you may wish to split the chillies to make the whole dish quite hot. If you leave them whole, they just give a good hint of heat.
Add the broccoli and the King Pao sauce and toss well, turning up the heat so that it bubbles and reduces to a glossy sauce - about three minutes or so. Remove the dried chillies (if used) and add in the toasted cashews. Serve warm as a side dish to a larger meal, or on its own with steamed rice for a light meal.
Main Meal Tweak: add cubed tofu that has first been sautéd in oil until lightly golden. Add this in with the cauliflower after the other vegetables are cooked.
Variations: use cauliflower as the main vegetable; add in sliced bell peppers, sliced leeks; a combination of cauliflower and broccoli