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Kalyn's Kitchen

Spicy Stir-Fried Broccoli Stems

This recipe for Spicy Stir-Fried Broccoli Stems is for everyone who likes to nibble on the broccoli stems while they’re cutting it up! And this tasty stir-fry is easy to cook, dairy-free, and vegan, and if you use correct ingredients it can be low-carb and gluten-free! Use Stir-Fry Recipes to find more recipes like this one.

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Spicy Stir-Fried Broccoli Stems found on KalynsKitchen.com

Broccoli stems are one of those under-appreciated vegetable parts that don’t get much respect, yet when I’m cutting up stalks of broccoli, they’re my favorite part to nibble on.  After I realized how much I liked them, a few years ago I started to save the stems in the vegetable crisper.

I’ve mostly used my broccoli stem bounty in salads, but this idea for Spicy Stir-Fried Broccoli Stems is something I came up with when I had a whole pound of stems saved up.  I cooked them in a wok, but a large frying pan will work, and if you’ve never eaten the broccoli stems, this recipe just might turn you into a fan.

I ate this as a main dish for lunch the day I made it, but you might use it as a meatless side dish with something like Whole Wheat Sesame Noodles or Stir-Fried Tofu. And of course these broccoli stems are perfect for Meatless Monday!

Spicy Stir-Fried Broccoli Stems found on KalynsKitchen.com

First cut off the ends of the broccoli stalks, which might be kind of brown if the broccoli has been in the fridge for a while. Use a sharp knife to cut away the smaller ribs and leftover pieces of leaves. Then use a sharp vegetable peeler to peel the stems.

I like to cut them stems on the diagonal, which I think looks nice and helps them to cook evenly. Mix the soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, Chili Garlic sauce, and sweetener of your choice to make the sauce. Be sure to use gluten-free soy sauce and Hoisin sauce if needed. Heat the wok over high heat for one minute, add the oil and heat 30 seconds, then add the garlic and cook about 45 seconds.  Then add the broccoli stems and start to stir-fry.
Continue to cook the broccoli stems until they are starting to brown but are still crisp, about 6 minutes. Then lower the heat to medium, add the sauce, and cook about 1 minute.  Serve hot, garnished with green onions if desired.

More Tasty Ways to Use Broccoli Stems:

Asian Chopped Salad with Broccoli Stems, Sugar Snap Peas, Radishes, Red Cabbage, and Almonds from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Broccoli Slaw Salad with Honey Mustard Yogurt Dressing from The Perfect Pantry
Super Simple Broccoli Stem Soup from Clean and Delicious with Dani Spies

Spicy Stir-Fried Broccoli Stems

This recipe for Spicy Stir-Fried Broccoli Stems is for everyone who likes to nibble on the broccoli stems while they’re cutting it up!



  • 1 lb. broccoli stems (about 8 thick stems)
  • 1 T oil (I used peanut oil but grapeseed oil would also be good)
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup diagonally sliced green onion for garnish (optional)

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 T soy sauce (I used low sodium soy sauce)
  • 2 tsp. Hoisin sauce
  • 2 tsp. Chili Garlic Sauce
  • 1 T Splenda, Stevia granulated sweetener, or sugar


  1. Cut off both ends of the broccoli stems, trimming away any discolored parts.
  2. Use a sharp knife to trim extra leaves or ribs from the stems and then peel with a sharp vegetable peeler.
  3. Cut the peeled stems on the diagonal into slices about 1/2 inch thick.
  4. In a small glass mixing cup or bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, Chili Garlic Sauce, and Stevia granulated sweetener, or sweetener of your choice.
  5. Mince the garlic and thinly slice the green onions.
  6. Heat a wok or large heavy frying pan over high heat for one minute.
  7. Add the oil and heat for 30 seconds more, or until the oil is shimmering.
  8. Add the garlic and stir-fry about 30 seconds, or until the garlic is fragrant.  (Watch carefully and don’t let it get brown.)
  9. Add the broccoli stems and cook, turning often, until the broccoli stems are starting to get slightly browned, but are still a little crisp, about 6 minutes.
  10. Lower heat to medium, add the sauce and cook stirring for one minute more.
  11. Serve hot, with green onions scattered over for garnish if desired.


This recipe created by Kalyn to feed her craving for broccoli stems.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
If you’re making this recipe for a low-carb eating plan or the South Beach Diet, you’ll need to use an approved sweetener. Hoisin sauce is relatively high in sugar, but since the amount per serving in this recipe is only half a teaspoon, I would still consider this okay for South Beach or low-carb diets.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, you can sign up for a free membership with Yummly and use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information. (New recipes won’t show up in Yummly right away and information there is not always 100% accurate.) Another option is entering the recipe into this Recipe Nutrition Analyzer, which will calculate it for you.

Spicy Stir-Fried Broccoli Stems found on KalynsKitchen.com

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    35 Comments on “Spicy Stir-Fried Broccoli Stems”

  1. This looks goon…put on my must try list!

  2. Glad you are enjoying the recipes, and I do like the idea of using carrots with the broccoli stems!

  3. Thanks for all your good recipes, which I discovered on Pinterest. Will definitely try this one, the sauce looks great. Just wanted to offer this variation from a similar dish that I make — I use half sliced carrots and half sliced broccoli stems.

  4. The spiciness is all in the chili garlic sauce. I would start with half the amount and taste the sauce to see if you can handle it more spicy than that.

  5. This recipe sounds delicious and I am definitely going to try it! I have one small question though: how spicy is it? I can't handle really spicy foods because I have sensitive taste buds. Also, if it is really spicy, how can I minimize the heat without compromising the taste?

  6. Awesome! I clicked on the first picture thinking they were potatoes. My daughter likes broccoli stems and hates the florets. I'll have to try this!

  7. Wow, I would have never guessed that was broccoli stems probably because I usually throw mine out. Great recipe!

  8. I really like step by step photo instructions. Another great way to eat your vegetables :). Love your blog.

  9. This is brilliant!! It always infuriates me that you buy broccoli by the pound but end up discarding the heaviest parts – the stems — this recipe is a perfect use for them!

  10. This is so innovative. You have made very good use of these to create such a wonderful dish! Loved the way the dish looks…I could have never guessed by the picture that it is actually broccoli stem!

  11. Kalyn,love this. Growing up, we always used the broccoli stems and to this day, I roast them or stir-fry them. Love the sauce you used.

  12. Kelly it was really good. I had a hard time not eating the whole plate!

  13. I do use stems, but usually with the florets. Love the idea of saving them for a dish like this. YUM. Especially the spicy part!

  14. Kalyn, GREAT idea!!!! I usually just steam them and eat them with the florets (I'm too frugal to waste them), but this is a WAY better idea!!!!!