Broc Speed: Pan-Seared Three Ingredient Broccoli

Restaurant Worthy, Family Worthy

I wrote an early post about heat as a main ingredient, how it adds huge flavor without adding calories. Perfect for “fast families,” this new broccoli recipe adds nothing but a bit of oil and soy to the broccoli, and cooks in record time. In spite of speed and simplicity I believe it’s worthy of any restaurant (of course, most restaurants don’t do veggies justice anyway). More importantly it’s quickly gobbled up by our kids, and I hope yours as well. Will you “test it” on yours? Please tell me in the comments how it rates with your family. There are few things as satisfying as watching kids happily eat vegetables, am I right?

Finished broccoli

Supersoynic? Soy sauce added towards the end delivers flavor and a little steam, to quickly finish the cooking.

Recipe: Pan-Seared Three Ingredient Broccoli

Summary: This recipe requires careful watching (cooking times are precise), but results in great flavor in almost no time at all. You can double the broccoli if your pan is sufficiently large, but increase the oil and soy just slightly to about 2 tablespoons each.


Broccoli In Pan

The wider your pan the better, as it allows more of the broccoli to contact the hot surface. Taller pots work fine too.

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 head of broccoli, about 1/2 pound
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce


    1. Cut the broccoli lengthwise into individual spears so the stem portions are no bigger around than your finger.
    2. In a wide heavy-bottomed pan or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it just begins to smoke.
    3. Add the broccoli to the pan, carefully using tongs to avoid splatter. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook for exactly two minutes.
Pan deglazed with water

You can ease cleaning by adding some water to the pan while it is still warm, after removing the broccoli. A quick stir with a spatula will dissolve the browned bits easily.

  1. Shake the pan to release the broccoli, and flip over each piece using tongs so it doesn’t continue cooking on the same side. Carefully drizzle the soy sauce over the broccoli and replace the cover. Cook for one more minute.
  2. Once again shake the pan, turn the spears with tongs, replace the lid, and cook for one additional minute. The broccoli won’t be completely soft, but should be cooked through, and browned in places but not burned.

Active time: 7 minute(s)
Total time: 10 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegetarian

Number of servings (yield): 3-4

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Dinner, Fast, High Heat, Kid Friendly, Recipes, Techniques
7 comments on “Broc Speed: Pan-Seared Three Ingredient Broccoli
  1. *gg says:

    I make something similar but I add garlic and tofu. It’s incredibly yummy. The broccoli soaks up the sauce quite nicely.

  2. Tracy says:

    I make this ALL the time. I send it in my daughter ‘s lunch the next day as well. We LOVE it!!

  3. Seth says:

    Okay, I may never do broccoli any other way. Ever.

    Great, simple instructions. Even I couldn’t screw it up.

  4. Charles says:

    I’m not the world’s biggest fan of broccoli – I think it’s because I’d always had it done the same, boring way – steamed or boiled to oblivion… yuck! I started experimenting with different methods of preparation and love it now. Blanched with a bit lemon juice and garlic, roasted so the buds are are all crispy, fried with sesame oil and honey – yum! Your seared broccoli has a great look to it – loving that kind of crispy, wilted look which you get with searing or roasting! Great dish 🙂 Thanks for the follow on Twitter 🙂

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