So, I needed a break from bok choy after the caterpillar incident last week, and I went back to Simple Chinese Cooking to find another veggie dish try. Now that I have easy access to a Chinese grocery store, I made a list of veggies Kylie cooks with in the veggie chapter of the book and went to the grocery store to look for them. I found gai choy, AKA Chinese mustard greens, but because I'm not a fan of mustard I kind of didn't want to risk it. Luckily, there was gai lan, AKA Chinese broccoli, in abundance. There were actually two kinds and it looked very similar to another choy of some kind, so I asked a produce staff member to A) help me pick the right veggie and B) explain to me the difference between the two types of gai lan.
The difference, apart from 30¢ in price, is that one gai lan was younger than the other gai lan, and the younger one would be more tender and less fibrous. That is the one I went with. It was $1.99/lb.
The method for this recipe is exactly the same as the method for the bok choy recipe.
Chinese Broccoli (gai lan) with Oyster Sauce, from Kylie Kwong's Simple Chinese Cooking, page 194
1 bunch Chinese broccoli
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp oyster sauce
dash sesame oil
1 tbsp peanut oil
1. Trim 5cm/2" from ends of broccoli, cut bunch crossways into 3 lengths, and wash thoroughly.
2. Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Stir in vegetable oil, add broccoli and simmer until bright green & tender - about 1 minute. Using tongs, immediately remove broccoli from water and place on platter. Drizzle with oyster sauce and sesame oil.
3. Heat peanut oil in small frying pan until moderately hot and carefully pour over broccoli. Serve immediately.
OK, I skipped step 3 all together because I don't do peanut oil, and I didn't bother adding any vegetable oil to the boiling water.
Chinese broccoli is very similar to broccoli rabe, but is only mildly broccoli-flavoured. I made this for my roommate and I tonight, and we both liked it. This is a completely new vegetable for me, and I think it's a keeper (providing I don't find any caterpillars in it). I told the produce guy I spoke to earlier that I might put it in soup, but the look on his face said that was a no-no. He told me they don't usually put it in soup, but rather stir fry it or boil it. Well, I might just add it to soup - probably some Mama noodles - anyway. But, whatever, this was another good side dish to add to my repertoire. Go Kylie!