1/3 C plus 2 T water, divided
3 T unseasoned rice vinegar, divided
1 ½ T soy sauce
1 t sugar
¼ t salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 t fresh ginger, grated
¼ t red pepper flakes
2 scallions, white and pale green parts finely chopped, dark parts thinly sliced on bias
1 ¼ lbs. broccoli, florets cut into 1-inch pieces, stems peeled and sliced 1-inch thick
3 T grapeseed or sunflower oil
2 t toasted sesame oil
½ – 1 t Sichuan peppercorns, toasted and finely ground
To enhance the flavor and aroma of the peppercorns, toast in a small skillet over medium heat for about 2 minutes, let them cool and then grind them into a fine powder with a spice grinder.
In a small bowl, stir together the 1/3 cup water, 2 tablespoons of the vinegar, soy sauce and sugar. In a second small bowl, stir together the 2 tablespoons water and the salt. In a third small bowl, combine the garlic, ginger, pepper flakes and minced scallions.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, combine the broccoli, salt water and 2 tablespoons of grapeseed/sunflower oil. Cover and cook for 1 minute, the water should reach a simmer. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally until the broccoli is crisp-tender and browned in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl or platter.
Return the skillet to medium-high heat, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil and the garlic-ginger mixture. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 10 to 15 seconds. Add the soy sauce mixture and simmer, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until slightly reduced, 2 to 3 minutes. Return the broccoli to the skillet and stir to coat.
Off the heat, stir in the sesame oil, remaining 1 tablespoon of vinegar and ½ teaspoon of the ground Sichuan peppercorns. Taste and add more peppercorns, if desired. Serve sprinkled with the sliced scallion greens. Serves 4.