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 How To Cook Chinese Broccoli

Baby gai lan served Cantonese style

What is Chinese Broccoli?

Chinese broccoli or Chinese kale is a leafy vegetable with thick, flat, glossy, blue-green leaves and thick stalks, as well as florets that resemble (but are much smaller than) broccoli. Jie Lan, a cultivar of Brassica oleracea, belongs to the alboglabra family (from Latin albus "white" and glabrus "hairless"). 

When in bloom, its white blooms mimic those of Matthiola incana, often known as Hoary Stock. Similar to broccoli in flavor, but considerably more robust and a bit more bitter.

Phat khana mu krop: Thai style fried Chinese broccoli with crispy pork belly

Chinese Broccoli Stir Fry


  • Chinese Broccoli
  • White Pepper
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • MSG


  • Prepare the Chinese broccoli first. In a large basin of water, give them a thorough washing while scrubbing the leaves to remove any debris. After that, soak for 5 to 10 minutes to let the sand and dirt sink to the bottom of the basin. For a total of three washings, repeat twice.
  • Cut off any rough ends. The bottom of gai lan stems that are bigger and thicker might become rough. Cut the ends off by 14 inches. The bottom stem's outer layer, which can be too fibrous to eat, can next be removed with a paring knife or peeler, much like you would with asparagus.
  • If preferred, combine the msg (if using), white pepper, salt, and sugar so you may add them all at once to the vegetables.
  • When stir-frying, it's best to have everything nearby so you can concentrate on creating wok hei.
  • You can now start cooking.
  • Start by heating your wok over medium-high heat until it is barely smoking. The wok's edge should be covered in oil. The ginger pieces are then added. Cook for a further ten to fifteen seconds, or until they are fragrant and beginning to caramelize (this will happen very quickly if your heat is high enough).
  • Add garlic
  • Stir-fry for 10 seconds with your wok spatula in a scooping motion to coat everything with oil and distribute the ginger and garlic evenly.
  • Turn up the heat all the way. Around the outside of the wok, pour the clear rice wine.
  • For one minute, cover the wok. The vegetables will steam-cook, and the sides of the pan should be quite hot.
  • After stirring, add the msg, salt, sugar, and white pepper (if using).
  • Stir-fry the gai lan for an additional 30 seconds, or until it reaches the desired softness. If the veggies appear too dry at this point, add a little boiling water or chicken stock.

This should be a side dish. Sometimes I like to eat this stir-fried Chinese broccoli by myself with a basic bowl of rice after a big weekend of overindulging in rich cuisine!

Gai lan

Garnish your plate with Gai lan.

We hope you enjoy this recipe at iHeartFoodie.

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