Chinese Broccoli with Garlic SauceJump to Recipe
Crunchy, savoury and of course, garlicky. Chinese Broccoli with Garlic Sauce is a classic Chinese takeout dish but also something you can make at home. Simple and easy, the recipe goes well with everything and you can’t go wrong with it!
What is Chinese Broccoli?
Chinese broccoli is a dark and long leafy vegetable and in Chinese, it is called “gai lan”. Sometimes it’s also referred to as Chinese kale since it has the same bitter taste.
It’s the second most popular Chinese vegetable just after bok choy. When you order a vegetable dish from a Chinese restaurant, you’re probably going to get either of the two or even both.
Another popular vegetable used in Chinese cuisine is choy sum, which is very similar to gai lan. The main difference is that choy sum usually has little yellow flowers and the leaves are shorter and rounder. You can read more about the different Chinese greens here.
Cooking with Chinese Broccoli
Chinese broccoli has a pungent flavour according to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). This means it pairs well with other pungent foods or sweeter ones to balance the flavours. In this recipe, the Chinese broccoli is doused in a delicious sauce made using garlic, which is another pungent food.
The garlic sauce isn’t limited to just this recipe though. It tastes amazing with other vegetables or in stir-fries.
If garlic sauce isn’t your thing, Chinese broccoli goes great with just oyster sauce. Just like this recipe, blanch your vegetables and then just pour oyster sauce straight from the bottle on top. Yes, the recipe can get even simpler!
Chinese Broccoli with Garlic Sauce Recipe
- ½ lb Chinese broccoli (gai lan)
- 4 cloves garlic
- ½ tsp sugar
- a pinch of paprika
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp Chinese black vinegar
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Wash and then soak your Chinese broccoli in cold water for 5 to 10 minutes. This will help reduce the bitter taste and keep the vegetables crunchy.
- While the Chinese broccoli is soaking, bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Strain the Chinese broccoli and then cut off half an inch of the bottom of the stem off. This part is usually too hard and tough to eat. Cut the remaining broccoli into 2 to 3 long strips lengthwise.
- When the water is boiling, add in the Chinese broccoli and blanch them for 2 to 3 minutes. After, strain all the water and arrange them neatly on a serving plate.
- Peel and mince the garlic.
- Combine the sugar, paprika, soy sauce and Chinese black vinegar in a small bowl. Mix well.
- Then, heat the vegetable oil in a small pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot but not smoking, add in the minced garlic and fry until it’s golden and crispy (about 1 to 2 minutes).
- Pour the oil and garlic into the bowl of sauce prepared earlier. Mix well.
- After, drizzle the finished sauce on top of the serving plate of Chinese broccoli. Serve immediately with rice. Enjoy!