Chinese ODM – Broccoli and Meat/Tofu Stir Fry

001A Broccoli + Meat Stir Fry edited

Most kids have an aversion to green vegetables. As parents, we try all ways and means to include vegetables in one form or another into their diet. Although I didn’t have much problems with convincing my kids then to eat some types of green, the most appealing ones were carrots, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, onions, cherry tomatoes and cucumber. ” If you like it, eat a larger portion and if you don’t like it you must eat at least 2 tablespoons of it,” I had advised.  A flavourful sauce always made the vegetables much more appealing.

This dish served us well as a One Dish Meal (ODM or all the food groups are found in one dish) when accompanied with rice.  I used to rush off to fetch the kids home from school and when we reach home, it would be way past 1 pm. They are famished by the time they sit down to for lunch. My helpers learnt to cook this dish easily.

For my readers who are living in the US and other parts of the world outside large cities, this recipe has greater depth and breath in taste than those you order as a take away at Chinese restaurants so it is worth cooking.

Some comments about the Ingredients

( blooper. A bottle of Oyster Sauce is missing in photo)

SUBSTITUTES are possible:

  • The canned straw mushrooms can be substituted with canned button mushrooms.
  • Instead of Pork, use sliced chicken breasts or thighs; or sliced ribeye beef.
  • Vegetarians can substitute the meat with sliced pressed tofu that has been pan-fried to firm it up otherwise the slices will break up and crumble during the cooking process.


STEP 1. Blanching the vegetables is required as the vegetables cook at different times.

Boil 1  1/2 cups water in wok till it comes to a rolling boil. Commence blanching the vegetables in stages as shown in the next few photos.

The sliced carrots and broccoli stems are added first for about 1 min. or so. Touch with tip of spatula to test for tenderness. Vegetables should be just firm.

Broccoli florets are added next. Boil and stir for 2 mins or so and remove quickly onto a metal plate.  Quick blanching sliced straw mushrooms is next. Save the blanching liquid that is in the wok by pouring it into a separate bowl. Set both items aside for next stage of cooking.

For efficiency, gather all ingredients and set them next to the stove for the final stage of cooking.

HINT if using substitutes: If it is beef or Pressed Tofu, the slices should be about 1 cm. thick.  Before frying of the aromatics in Step 2, pan fry beef slices quickly so as not to overcook beef and remove. Pressed Tofu slices should be pan fried till lightly golden. For either substitutes, skip Steps 3 + 4 (caramelising and tenderising pork/chicken) as well. Step 5 has to be changed slightly so that the blanched vegetables and mushrooms are cooked without the beef or Tofu.


STEP 2. Heat wok and add 2 Tbsp of cooking oil. Once oil is hot, add sliced ginger and stir fry for 1 min before adding in the chopped garlic. Cook over medium heat to turn light gold.

Step 3. The seasoned pork is added next. Stir fry and caramelise pork/chicken.

Step 4. Add the blanching liquid to the pork/chicken and cover to cook for about 5 to 7 mins. to cook and tenderise the meat. Also refer to the photo below.

Step 5. Once the meat is cooked, add the Sauce, blanched vegetables and mushrooms. Cook for a further 3 mins. or so

Step 6. Push the ingredients to one side and add the Thickening Liquid. Cook till sauce thickens and the cornstarch is cooked.

HINT: If you are using beef, only add the cooked beef at this stage and give the ingredients a quick stir to combine. Remove onto serving plate.


Serves 4 persons


  •  1 Broccoli, washed and cut into florets with stems cut into smaller pieces.
  • 200 gms sliced pork, chicken or beef

        Meat marinade (mix with meat for 15 mins)

  • 1 Tbsp each  Maggi Seasoning + Chinese cooking wine
  • Dash of ground pepper
  • Sprinkle of sesame oi

Other Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp sliced ginger
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled + sliced
  • 1 can straw mushrooms, drained + sliced
  • 1 spring onion, cleaned + cut into 3 cm sections


  • 1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar

Cornflour Slurry for thickening sauce (stir to mix just before using)

  •  1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 C water


1. Once all the ingredients have been washed, and sauces are ready in their containers, commence blanching vegetables in the order shown in photos. Blanched vegetables and straw mushrooms should all be placed in a large metal plate ( metal and not plastic plate so that when it is near the heat source, it will not melt). Save the blanching liquid for later stage of cooking.

2. Heat oil in wok and fry the aromatics as shown in photos.

HINT: If you are using beef or pressed tofu slices, pan fry the slices prior to frying the aromatics and set cooked beef or tofu aside to be added at end stage of cooking.

3. The seasoned pork/chicken is added next. Stir fry and caramelise pork/chicken.

4. Add the blanching liquid to the pork/chicken and cover wok  to cook for about 5 to 7 mins. to cook and tenderise the meat

5. Once the pork/chicken in the wok is cooked, add the Sauce, blanched vegetables and mushrooms. Cook for a further 3 mins. or so

6.  Push the ingredients in the wok aside and thicken the sauce by adding the cornflour slurry. Cook till sauce thickens and whitish colour turns translucent indicating that the cornflour is cooked.

HINT: If you are using sliced beef or Tofu, add the cooked beef or Tofu at this stage and give the ingredients a quick stir to combine. Remove onto serving plate.

Serving Suggestions

Quick Meal. Accompany this dish with bowls of Chinese Soup and fragrant Thai Jasmine Rice.

Chinese Soups

1. Jin Hua Ham and Winter Melon Soup. Click here.

2. Lotus Root, Peanut and Pork Ribs. Click here

3. Radishes and Dried Squid. Click here.

4. Pork Stomach with Peppercorn. Click here.

5. Tang Ho with Fishballs. Click here.

Guests are coming! Some other dishes are listed below. What are their dietary preferences? Remind your helper to use those ingredients that are already in the fridge, freezer or larder first.

Seafood dishes

1. Dry Assam Seafood. Click here

2. Fried Fish with Fermented Black Bean Sauce. Click here.

3. Stuffed You Tiao (Baked).  Click here.

Meat dishes

1. Beef Rendang (spicy). Click here

2. Singapore Curry Chicken (spicy). Click here.

3. Quick Braised Sea cucumber, Chicken and Mushroom. Click here.

Vegetable Dishes

1. Spinach in Broth with 3 types of eggs. Click here.

2. Pork, Spinach and Egg Stir Fry. Click here.

3. Shanghai Cabbage with Oyster Sauce & Garlic. Click here.


A plate of cold, freshly cut seasonal fruits is always appropriate. Perhaps you had time to make a dessert like one of the 2 listed below? Either of them is most suited to our hot tropical climate.

1. Almond Jelly + Longans Click here.

2. Coconut Jelly with Can Lychees. Click here.

3. Sweet Potato Dessert Soup. Click here.

4. Sago Pudding. Click here.

5. Orange Agar Agar. Click here


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