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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 up the broccoli! 

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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 process shots collage

How to Make Spicy Stir-Fried Broccoli Stems:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. 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.
  2. Use a sharp knife to cut away the smaller ribs and leftover pieces of leaves.
  3. Then use a sharp vegetable peeler to peel the stems.
  4. I like to cut them stems on the diagonal, which I think looks nice and helps them to cook evenly.
  5. 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 (affiliate link) and Gluten-Free Hoisin Sauce (affiliate link) if needed.
  6. 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. 
  7. Then add the broccoli stems and start to stir-fry.
  8. Continue to cook the broccoli stems until they are starting to brown but are still crisp, about 6 minutes.
  9. 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:

Low-Carb Asian Chopped Salad with Broccoli Stems 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

Spicy Stir-Fried Broccoli Stems

Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 21 minutes

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 a tasty and interesting side dish!



  • 1 lb. broccoli stems (see notes)
  • 1 T oil (see notes)
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup diagonally sliced green onion for garnish (optional)

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 T soy sauce (see notes)
  • 2 tsp. Hoisin sauce (see notes)
  • 2 tsp. Chili Garlic Sauce (see notes)
  • 1 T sweetener of your choice


  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.


One pound of broccoli stems is about 8-10 thick stems. I used Peanut Oil (affiliate link) but Grapeseed Oil (affiliate link) would also be good for this recipe. Use Gluten-Free Soy Sauce (affiliate link) and Gluten-Free Hoisin Sauce (affiliate link) if needed. Most grocery stores will have some brand of Chile Garlic Sauce (affiliate link). I would use Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link) for this recipe, but use the sweetener you prefer.

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

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 87Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 357mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Spicy Stir-Fried Broccoli Stems square thumbnail image

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 Stir-Fry Recipes to 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..

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    35 Comments on “Spicy Stir-Fried Broccoli Stems”

  1. Nicole, hope you enjoy it!

    Mike, I bet you will like the stems!

    I think you could make this with both the stems and broccoli flowerets, but I would cook the stems for a minute or two before you add the other pieces.

  2. Kalyn, what do you think about making this with BOTH broccoli florets and the stems together? My boyfriend hates the stems, so I always end up throwing them out, but I love them and would love to try out this recipe! Maybe this would convince him otherwise! 🙂

  3. I've never used the broccoli stems, but I'll give it a try over the weekend.

  4. I love broccoli stems, too! I'm going to save some up and make this!

  5. Mother Rimmy, I agree, they are far too good for compost!

    Pat, I like the idea of steaming them.

  6. I never thought of cooking them that way. I do steam them with garlic, sliced very thinly and then use them as a nice bit of crunch in a salad.

    I will certainly try them your way – I hate waste! Thanks you for another great idea.

  7. I really like this idea. I always feel so guilty composting those sturdy broccoli stems, but I really didn't know what else to do with them but save them for vegetable broth. Terrific idea!

  8. Not strange at all! I think I like them best too, although I do like broccoli in general a lot!

  9. I love the stems and never waste them. Am I going to sound strange if I say I actually like the stems better? Thanks for another great recipe!

  10. Shawn, hope you enjoy it!

  11. Best. Recipe. Ever!! I always just throw the stalks away, and I feel like such a waster. I just bought some broccoli today and I am going to make this tonight! Thanks Kalyn! This is awesome!

  12. Stephanie, I think I must try cutting them into sticks!

  13. I've always cooked the broccoli stems as well. But I cut them into 2" x 0.25" sticks. They're my favorite part!

  14. Kelley, that is so funny. I think we must get together for a dinner! Do try peeling the stems. Sometimes I leave a little of the peel on if it's tender, but usually not much.

    Thanks Dara, love the idea of using something that might get thrown away.

  15. This is a brilliant recipe, Kalyn! Not only does it include some of the flavors I enjoy the most, but it helps to use up those leftover broccoli stems.

  16. I just laughed out loud, Kalyn. Once again, I couldn't help but think you and my husband really need to go to dinner together! He LOVES the stems and actually prefers them to the crowns. This is a great recipe and so pretty. I'll admit, I never peel the stems but I'm going to try it next time. Have a great Monday!!

  17. I love it that I'm inspiring you guys to eat your broccoli stems! So tasty.

  18. I hate to admit that the stems don't always get put to good use, but you're right – lots of nutrition and good eating there. And you sure created a nice presentation, too!

  19. I don't usually use the broccoli stems – but that is going to change now!

  20. I always just throw the stems into a stir fry if I'm making it but if I'm using the broccoli for anything else, they usually just get tossed! I love the idea of making a dish with them all their own.