Chinese Broccoli, also called kai lan or jie lan, is a common leafy vegetable that is widely enjoyed in China and Southeast Asia. Chinese broccoli has a similar taste to its western cousin broccoli; crisp and slightly bitter. There are many different ways to cook it, usually involving stir fry or blanching. This simple recipe uses the blanching method to reduce the bitter taste of Chinese broccoli, and also preserves its crispness and vibrant green color. The sauce, which requires pouring hot oil onto raw minced garlic, not only gets rid of garlic’s pungent smell and spiciness, but also instantly produces an immense amount of aroma that will stimulate anyone’s appetite.
Preparation Time: 10 min
Active Time: 20 min
Total Time: 20 min
- ½ pound of Chinese broccoli
- Some oil
- Pinch of salt
- 4 garlic cloves; skinned and minced
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- Pinch of paprika
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil (preferable oil with mild flavor and high smoking point)
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar
Prepare the Broccoli:
- Wash the Chinese broccoli by immersing all the stems in cold water for five minutes. Dry all the leaves and stems with a kitchen towel or paper towel.
- Heat a large pot of water under medium-high heat. In the meantime, cut off up to 1 cm (about 0.4 inch) of the stem end to remove the tough mature end. Then separate each stem into 2 or 3 strings. This will ensure easy and even blanching.
- When the water boils, keep the stove on medium-high. Add the pinch of salt, then put all the Chinese broccoli strings into the pot, making sure all the leaves and stems are immersed in hot water. Then drip a few drops of oil into the pot.
- After 2 to 3 minutes of blanching, quickly transfer all the Chinese broccoli into strainer or a plate. After removing all the excess water, arrange the vegetables nicely onto a serving plate.
Prepare the Sauce:
- While the Chinese broccoli cools, combine the minced garlic, ½ teaspoon sugar, and a pinch of paprika into a small bowl.
- Heat the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. When the oil is hot but not smoking, carefully pour it into the bowl with the minced garlic. You should hear a sizzling sound. Then immediately use a chopstick or fork to mix everything in the bowl.
- Add the 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of Chinese black vinegar to the mixture and mix well.
- Drizzle the sauce on top of the arranged Chinese broccoli.