Stir-Fried Gai Lan (Chinese Broccoli) for a Healthy Side Dish

stir fried Chinese broccoli
I don’t know a lot of words in Chinese or Cantonese, the language that Geoff’s family speaks. I’m notoriously bad at foreign languages. But I do know the words daan taat (Chinese egg tart), gai mei bao (sweet coconut buns translated as “cocktail buns“) and shumai (a delectable pork and shrimp dumpling). Seeing a trend here?

Well, along with my limited vocabulary of sweets and dumplings, I also know the word gai lan, or Chinese broccoli. This leafy Chinese green with thick stocks has been one of my favorites ever since I first tasted it a few years ago. I can eat a ton of gain lan. I always look for it on Chinese food restaurant menus, and I always try to grab some at the store if I’m planning on making Chinese food at home. Stir-fried with garlic and ginger it makes a simple, healthy side dish. Feel free to try this recipe with bok choy, choy sum or other Asian greens if you’re not able to find gai lan at your grocery store.

chinese broccoli

Stir-Fried Gai Lan (Chinese Broccoli)
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  1. 1 pound gai lan (Chinese broccoli) or other Asian green of your choice
  2. 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  3. 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  4. 2 teaspoons ginger, minced
  5. 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  6. salt
  1. Wash the gai lan and cut it into 2 to 3-inch pieces, keeping the stalks separate from the leafy tops.
  2. Heat a wok over high flame. Add the oil along with the garlic and ginger, and let them cook for about 30 seconds. Add the stalks to the wok to give them a head start, just letting them heat up for about a minute. Add the leaves to the wok and keep everything moving around as you stir-fry. When the stalks are tender and the leaves are wilted, add two tablespoons of water, the sugar and salt. Stir it all up and serve.
  1. The greens shrink down dramatically, so don't worry about your wok overflowing when you add the leaves. Just add them slowly in a few batches.
Adapted from Every Grain of Rice
Dumplings & Doughnuts