These crispy, spicy, savory, and slightly sweet broccoli bites prove that deep-fried food doesn't have to be a gut bomb.
Prep: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour
for the broccoli:
6 cups broccoli florets
3/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons panko crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup ice-cold seltzer water
1/2 cup ice-cold vodka
1/4 cup very thinly sliced scallions
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
for the sauce:
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced ginger
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons shoyu
1/4 cup gochujang (Korean chile paste)
2 tablespoons black rice vinegar
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1) Smoke the broccoli either using a smoker, or constructing one from tin foil as follows. To smoke broccoli in tin foil, line a square baking pan with tin foil. Add two cups of hickory chips to the bottom, and place over burners on high heat. Cover with tinfoil like a lid. Once smoke starts to curl out from under the lid, put a tray or rack over the chips and place broccoli on it. Re-cover the pan and let it sit on high heat until smoke comes out from under the lid again. Remove broccoli.
2) Toss the smoked broccoli in 1/4 cup of the cornstarch, then shake off excess powder.
3) Mix the remaining cornstarch, baking powder, panko, salt, and flour together. Add vodka and seltzer to the cornstarch mixture. Roll the broccoli in the wet batter.
4) Deep fry broccoli in batches until golden. Set on paper towels to drain.
5) For the sauce, mix together all sauce ingredients in a big bowl. Toss the fried, smoked broccoli in the sauce. Remove, sprinkle with sesame seeds and scallions, and serve.