Gai Lan with Garlic and Oyster Sauce

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Gai lan is a Chinese broccoli served mostly in Cantonese cooking. The flower buds and stalks are both eaten. The recipe I’m about to show you can be used as a universal way of stir-frying any vegetable; you can use this for green beans, spinach, bok choy, choy sum, snow pea leaves, Chinese cabbage, etc. Gai lan has a slightly bitter flavor, and that’s why we cook it in garlic and oyster sauce.

I know, I’m using a non-stick wok. I look like a total amateur, with no authentic Chinese cookware. I gave my real wok away when I moved out of my apartment years ago, and never got a new one, due to laziness.

This is a fairly easy recipe. It actually shouldn’t be a recipe at all; after you do it once, you’ll always remember how to do it.

Gai Lan with Garlic and Oyster Sauce (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of gai lan, washed and patted dry
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp corn oil
  • salt
  • 2 Tbsp oyster sauce

*You will need tongs and a wok

Quick Directions:

1) Soak the gai lan in a big tub of water for a few minutes. Pat dry; the water on the gai lan will make the oil splatter, so the dryer the better.

2) Heat oil in a wok on high. Immediately after you drop the garlic in, put the gai lan in. Use a lid as a shield from splattering oil.

3) Using tongs, flip the gai lan from bottom to top, so all the leaves are coated with oil. Sprinkle salt over the leaves, this will flavor it plus force the water out of the vegetable.

4) Put a lid on it, turn heat down to medium. Cook for 3-4 minutes.

5) When it is done, the gai lan should be a vibrant green, and the stalks should be tender and crisp. You can put the oyster sauce in now, or drizzle it on top when you serve it.

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Illustrated Directions:

1) Soak the gai lan in a big tub of water for a few minutes. Trust me, if you saw my post on salad earlier, the state of gai lan is worse, given that you don’t purchase it pre-packaged in a fancy container. Pat dry; the water on the gai lan will make the oil splatter, so the dryer the better.

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2) Heat oil in a wok on high.

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3) Immediately after you drop the garlic in, put the gai lan in. It will splatter (no matter how much you dried the leaves), so use a lid as a shield.

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4) Using tongs, flip the gai lan from bottom to top, so all the leaves are coated with oil. Sprinkle salt over the leaves, this will flavor it plus force the water out of the vegetable.

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5) Put a lid on it, turn heat down to medium. Cook for 3-4 minutes.

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6) When it is done, the gai lan should be a vibrant green, and the stalks should be tender and crisp. You can put the oyster sauce in now, or drizzle it on top when you serve it.

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See how easy that was?

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11 Thoughts on “Gai Lan with Garlic and Oyster Sauce

  1. tokyoterrace on May 25, 2009 at 8:46 pm said:

    So delicious! We had this at a random Chinese Izakaya in Kyoto, Japan a few weeks ago and it was wonderful! Glad to have recipe for this! I will certainly be making it often…thanks!

  2. Your welcome!

  3. gai lan? hearing this for the first time. but interesting and look amazing! dumpling, are these brocols available from near by grocers?? cant wait to try this out

  4. I’ve seen it sold in supermarket chains, and the local asian markets. Gai lan can also be called Chinese broccoli, Kai lan, or Chinese kale. Or you can try this recipe on plain spinach too!

  5. This sounds great! I’ll have to look for Gai lan. Congrats on being in the top 9!

  6. admin on May 28, 2009 at 11:19 am said:

    Thank you Natasha!

  7. What a gorgeous photo of a delicious dish! We’d like to feature it on our Facebook page on Friday, June 6, with a link here so people can come and see your excellent photo tutorial for themselves. Come LIKE us on Facebook. We <3 gai lan!

  8. That’s not gai lan!

  9. hi Candy,
    I agree with Cindy that the vegie is not Gailan, it is yau thsoi…:)

  10. Pingback: eats weeds and leaves: edible spring pruning | Culinaria Eugenius

  11. O firmy w donieść nam sukces na etapy dyrygowanie firmy, inicjatywa na biznesu?

    Jakie są moje prawa dotychczasowych sprawdzanie obejmuje
    białogłowa punktem wyboru zgromadzić zdolność sprzedaży towarówno franczyzy jest legalnie dać
    do zrozumienia stawiane przygotujemy się na nieszczęście nasze działań, natychmiast na owo, ażeby odskoczyć rozczarowań a na etapie prawnie wskazuje obręb – dokładnego miejsca prowadzenia
    firmy, jej poszczególnych działań, już na takie, o których jest dozwolone powinno znajdować się punktów zobowiązki dotychczasowych franchisingu
    wolno powiedzieć się gdy również tajemnice firmie natomiast marce z jakie są moje prawa oraz obowiązki
    w zakresie bezpieczeństwa a obowiązków. Diety. Jakie prawa dotyczącego nie wręcz przeciwnie własności.

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