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Korean Broccoli Salad

Growing up, we ate a ton of broccoli.  I guess it never even occurred to us kids that we had the option of hating it.  And actually, we ate a ton of vegetables in general.  Often, our broccoli would be served in a spicy Korean style salad.  I suppose we viewed it as just another variety of kimchi and you don’t get a choice of liking or disliking kimchi.  It’s in your blood.  I may or may not be kidding.

As I got older, I learned to appreciate my mama’s Korean broccoli salad for the wonderful dish that it is but even as kids, vegetables were never boring or gross to us.  Its preparation may have had a lot to do with it.  If you find your vegetables to be bland or boring, I highly recommend trying to incorporate in some gochujang, the ever so versatile Korean red pepper paste.  It has the consistency of tomato paste and acts in a similar way.  It lays the foundation of rich flavor and can be swayed in many different directions.  When combined with crisp and vibrant broccoli, it jumpstarts it up with a kick.  As an adult, I’ll find myself enjoying this solo despite it being a banchan {Korean side dish} since it’s so satisfying with different layers of flavor.  The sesame oil imparts a light smoky and nutty quality to the dish, the sesame seeds add a crunch, and the apple cider and vinegar and brown sugar balance each other out with a bright and sweet aspect.

This Korean broccoli salad is quite simple to recreate at home.  You’ll sometimes find it on the table at a Korean restaurant as part of the line up of banchans and it can also be made with green beans, edamame, celery and so much more.  Enjoy!

Korean Broccoli Salad
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 3 tb gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
  • 1 tb sesame oil
  • 1 tb sesame seeds
  • 2 ts apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tb brown sugar
  • Black pepper
  • Green onion garnish
Instructions
  1. Boil your water and salt it well.
  2. Toss in your florets and cook for no longer than 3 minutes.
  3. Immediately plunge them into an ice bath to stop the cooking process and retain their vibrant green color.
  4. Tumble in all of your ingredients and mix well. Garnish with green onions.
  5. Serve immediately, at room temperature, in bibimbap, or keep in the fridge.

Love,

Your Squishy Monster ^.~

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