BROCCOLI STEWED IN CHINESE SAUCE
Our family’s favorite dish is Chinese Broccoli Sautéed. It may be served as a side dish with just about anything!
To make this dish, we use a Cantonese approach that my parents taught me over the years while working in the Chinese family restaurant and at home.
Clear rice wine, a generous amount of ginger and garlic, and high heat are employed in this recipe to create wok hei flavor and enhance the natural flavor of the greens.
One of the healthiest Chinese leafy greens is Chinese broccoli (, jiè lán in Mandarin), which is also known as gai lan in Cantonese and jiè lán in Mandarin (). It’s a high-nutrient cruciferous vegetable.
This vegetable comes in various stem thicknesses, including mature stems and younger, more sensitive stems. It’s up to you to decide which one you like. Keep an eye out for fresh, vibrant greens.
- 1 lb. of Chinese broccoli(washed thoroughly, ends trimmed, and cut at an angle into 2- to 2½-inch pieces)
- 1/2 tsp. of salt
- 1/4 tsp. of sugar
- 1/8 tsp. of ground white pepper
- 1/8 tsp. of MSG or mushroom powder
- 2 tbsp. of oil (any neutral-flavored oil, such as vegetable or canola oil)
- 7 slices of fresh ginger (thin slices)
- 4 cloves of garlic (sliced)
- 1 tbsp. of clear rice wine (can also use Shaoxing wine, though clear rice wine yields a cleaner, milder flavor)
- To begin, steam the Chinese broccoli until tender-crisp. In a large bowl of water, agitate the water and rub the leaves to dislodge any dirt. Let them soak in the bowl for a few minutes to get rid of any remaining sand or dirt. Do this process a second time for a total of three times.
- Remove any thorny stems. Using a paring knife or peeler, remove the outer layer of the bottom stem (which can be too fibrous to consume) from larger, thicker gai lan stems, as you would do with asparagus before cooking. Slicing diagonally, cut the meat into 2 to 2 1/2 inch chunks.
- Preparation time is reduced if you combine the seasonings ahead of time and then toss them with the vegetables. To concentrate on constructing wok hei while stir-frying, you should keep all of your ingredients within easy reach.
- Lower the heat to medium-low when the wok is just starting to smoke. Get rid of any stray dribbles of oil. Toss in the ginger slices and let them fry for 10-15 seconds, or until they’re fragrant and beginning to caramelize, then remove them (this will happen very quickly if your heat is high enough).
- Add the garlic and Chinese broccoli at the same time. Stir-fry for 10 seconds using a wok spatula in a scooping motion to equally distribute the ginger and garlic and coat everything in the oil.
- Turn up the heat all the way. Clear rice wine should be sprinkled on all four sides of the wok.
- Place the Chinese broccoli in a small pile in the middle of the wok. The wok should be covered for a total of one minute. You’ll use steam and a very hot wok to cook the vegetables.
- Remove the wok’s cover. Drag the Chinese broccoli around the sides of the pan with your spatula while holding the wok by the handle. This will produce a wok hei effect, characterized by intense heat. Salt, sugar, white pepper, and msg are the next ingredients to be added to the mixture (if used).
- A further 30 seconds of stirring will bring the gai lan to the softness you desire. Pour in a little boiling water or chicken stock if the vegetables look parched at this point. Serve.