Thu Feb 9, 2017
Growing up, broccoli was one of the select few vegetables I would stomach. It was also one of the first vegetables I willing cooked for a meal—albeit I choose to batter and fry it, the fact that I made any veggie for myself was notable. As I grew out of juvenile eating, broccoli didn't become any less loved, although it became more rare as I opted for things like brussels sprouts, cabbage, and green beans instead. Given my warm history with broccoli, it's kind of odd that it wasn't until last year that I first took it to the grill, but now that I know how a hot fire makes it all the better, I'm ready to make up for lost time and this hoisin-ginger glazed broccoli is likely to be just one of what will become many recipes as I rekindle my flame with this green veg.
In my first attempt at grilling broccoli, I chose to prep it in huge spears to avoid any issues with small florets falling through the grates. This was not optimal as, even after a long cook, the thickest parts of the stalks were still tough and the final product was comically huge and difficult to manage on a plate. So this time around I started by cutting a large head of broccoli into medium florets, still keeping them large enough that they wouldn't succumb to a fiery fate.
I also decided to introduce some additional flavor by way of a glaze. That original broccoli I mentioned that I cooked for myself when I was still mostly veggie adverse was always finished with a teriyaki sauce. That started me thinking in the realm of Asian flavors here, leading to a hoisin-based sauce whose sweetness gained added complexity and contrast by way of soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, sherry, and white pepper.
Before grilling, I tossed the florets with some oil and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. I then arranged them on the cool side of two-zone high heat fire, covered, and let roast.
What's so great about utilizing that high heat output from a fresh batch of coals is that it only takes about 15-20 minutes for the broccoli to cook through and the ends of the florets to gain a great crispness. This, to me at least, is the ideal texture for broccoli—the mix of a light crunch and crisp-tender flesh.
After the broccoli was done, I transferred the florets to a large bowl, tossed with the glaze, then arranged on a plate and finished with a garnish of sesame seeds. The final product reminded me of why I was so taken with broccoli and not other veggies back in the day—it has enough of a flavor to be distinct, but it's also light enough to allow whatever sauce is paired with it to have a pretty large influence. In this case, the glaze brought me back to those teriyaki broccoli days, but with a bit more of sophisticated profile. The sweetness of the hoisin and honey were front and center, but the garlic, ginger, and pepper added a light heat and bite while the soy sauce amped up the savoriness. All-in-all it was a easy side that I could see taking the plate next to so many mains, be it a grilled skirt steak, roasted chicken, or ribs.
Broccoli with Hoisin-Ginger Glaze
- Prep Time:
- 10 Minutes
- Cook Time:
- 15 Minutes
- Total Time:
- 25 Minutes
- 4 servings
- For the Glaze
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon sherry
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 large head broccoli, cut into large florets
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
- To make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, honey, hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger, sherry, and white pepper. Set aside.
- Place broccoli in a large bowl and toss with oil, salt, and pepper until thoroughly coated and evenly seasoned.
- Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place broccoli on cool side of grill, cover, and roast until broccoli is crisp-tender and florets crisp around the edges, 15-20 minutes.
- Transfer broccoli back to large bowl, pour in glaze, and toss to thoroughly coat. Transfer broccoli to a bowl or plate, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve immediately.