Gai Lan (Chinese Broccoli)

This is a vegetable that’s always available in Asian Markets and one of our favorites. It has a milder flavor than broccoli, and is much leafier. You could substitute spinach I think. Or you could use Broccoli rabe. Whatever you use – it’s a super quick side dish and so good. I served it tonight with Thai Fish and rice and it was a perfect plate. It does use sesame oil which is available in Asian Markets and adds a wonderful flavor.

1 bunch gai lan, washed
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp soy sauce (check label for gluten)
1 Tbsp rice vinegar (or cider vinegar)
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
3 cloves garlic, crushed.

Start a large pot of well-salted water to boil.

Add all other ingredients to a large frying pan. Stir well and heat on medium/low heat, stirring constantly. Cook until the sauce is starting to get quite sticky and a little thick, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Lay Gai Lan on a cutting board, and cut it in 2″ strips, starting at the bottom of the stem. As soon as you have stem pieces cut, toss them in the boiling salted water. Continue cutting leave into 2 inch strips and add the leaves to the boiling water. Boil for just a couple of minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, or tongs, remove the Gai Lan from the boiling water, shaking as much water out as you can. (Some will remain.) Add to sauce and stir to distribute the sauce all over the Gai Lan. Serve immediately.

If you are making it with spinach, there is no need to boil the spinach, just add it to the pan as soon as the sauce begins to thicken. The moisture in the spinach will thin down the sauce and make it just perfect.

Here is a photograph of Gai-Lan:


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