Broccoli with Fish Sauce and Parmesan


I mulled long and hard over whether this should make the cut in the book. I've made it so many times and in so many variations that it barely seems like a recipe to me anymore — but! it is one of my go-to vegetable dishes on nights when I don’t want to think too much about cooking, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who appreciates these kinds of trusty recipes. One of the first things I taught myself to cook as a kid was sautéed broccoli under a blanket of melty American cheese. I’d like to think of this is as a ~slightly~ more refined evolution of that dish. It comes together very quickly, and you can adjust everything to your taste. OK, so it may not be a “traditional” Teoswa recipe, but it captures the spirit of Teoswa cooking: using a few choice seasonings to enhance locally abundant ingredients. Plus, if you're cooking from this book, you're probably looking for more ways to use that bottle of fish sauce! 🐟 

Serves 3-4 with other dishes

  • 1.5 lb broccoli
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp water
  • freshly grated Parmesan
  • black pepper
  1. Cut broccoli into florets. Peel stem and cut into 1/2”- diameter coins. Mix fish sauce and water in a dish and set aside.
  2. Heat a large lidded pan over medium heat. Once hot, add olive oil. Sauté garlic 30 seconds until fragrant. Add red pepper flakes if using.
  3. Turn heat to high and add broccoli. Let the broccoli sear for a minute, then add fish sauce-water mixture and sauté to mix well. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover for 3 minutes. 
  4. If you like your broccoli just-cooked and still crunchy, it'll be done after about 3 minutes. If you prefer your broccoli to be more tender, continue cooking for a few more minutes, giving it an occasional stir and adding more water if it gets too dry.
  5. When the broccoli is your desired texture (taste-test a piece), turn off heat. Crack some black pepper and grate some Parmesan into the pan, then stir to distribute. Taste and add more fish sauce as needed. Plate and serve.
VegetablesDiana Zheng