This Chinese Broccoli recipe is a delicious way to get more greens into your life! Coated in a delicious garlic and ginger miso, this delicious dish can be a side or added to stir fry. Plus it’s Vegan, Paleo, Whole30, Keto, and low carb.
What you’ll learn in this recipe:
- How to tell if the Chinese broccoli is fresh
- Cooks stems first, then add leaves to prevent over/under cooking
- Savory garlicky ginger miso sauce that pairs well with any vegetable dish
- Chinese broccoli
- Chili peppers
- Miso paste
- Soy sauce
How to Make Chinese Broccoli – Step by Step
Cut the Chinese broccoli like this, which helps the vegetable cook evenly. The stems are thick, so they go at the bottom of the pan, which is hotter.
Add 1″ of water to your wok, then add in the stems on the bottom.
Lay the leaves on top.
What Is Chinese Broccoli?
What is Chinese broccoli? It comes from the same family as traditional broccoli, but it has a stronger, more pronounced taste. It’s bitter if you eat it raw, which is why it’s always cooked.
In Chinese, it’s gai-lan or kai-lan, pronounced “guy-LAN”
The stems are thick, the color of the leaves is more like kale (blue-green). While the florets of regular broccoli is eaten – many open florets on Chinese broccoli often means the vegetable is old and tough. The stems and leaves is what you eat.
Did you know? Broccolini is a cross between broccoli and gai-lan.
How to Tell if Chinese Broccoli if Fresh
For this and most other Chinese broccoli recipes you really want to use fresh broccoli. Chinese broccoli should have very few florets. If you see small white flowers blooming, it probably means it’s past it’s prime and will be tough and bitter.
Also take a look at the bottoms of the stems – fresh young Chinese broccoli will have a wet-milky-transluscent-ish color in the center of the stem. Old Chinese broccoli stem will be dried up with a hard, white opaque center. Skip it.
Here’s a photo of fresh Gai Lan with soft, opaque-ish milky center.
Health Benefits Of Chinese Broccoli
Like many leafy green vegetables, Chinese broccoli is a powerhouse of nutrients. It contains high amounts of beta carotene. Beta carotene helps prevent age related macular degeneration (ARMD), which causes vision loss and eventually blindness. Additionally, Chinese broccoli is a good source of vitamin E. Vitamin E can improve immune function, preventing viral and bacterial infections. This green is a great source of dietary fiber as well.
Top Tips for this Chinese Broccoli Recipe
- The broccoli stems are thicker and should go at the bottom of the pan, to cook evenly.
- Wipe off the water from the wok before you stir in the aromatics, this will prevent splattering.
- Fresh young Chinese broccoli will have a wet-milky-transluscent-ish color in the center of the stem.
- You can substitute Chinese broccoli for broccolini. You can also use the same ingredients and sauce for almost all Asian vegetable stir-fries, for example, yu choy. The same seasonings also work for spinach and broccoli.
Other Chinese Vegetable Recipes
Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce (Steamy Kitchen)
Chinese Yu Choy Stir Fry (Steamy Kitchen)
Stir Fried Bok Choy Recipe (Steamy Kitchen)
Chinese Broccoli Beef Noodle Stir Fry (Steamy Kitchen)
Have you tried this Chinese Broccoli recipe? Feel free to leave a star rating and I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
Chinese Broccoli with Garlicky Ginger Miso Recipe
- 1 pound Chinese broccoli gai lan
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1 teaspoon hot chili pepper minced (optional)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons miso paste
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
- Trim ends of the Chinese broccoli. Line up the Chinese broccoli with the stems facing same direction. Cut the stalks in half to separate the thick stems from the leaves.
- Add one inch of water to a wok, pot or large saute pan and bring to a simmer on medium heat. Layer in the broccoli stems at the bottom of the pan and layer the leaves on top of the stems. You want the thick stems closer to the bottom of the pan so that they will cook faster. Steam for 3 minutes. Use tongs to lift the leaves to a plate. Check the stems to make sure they are cooked - they should be easily pierced with a knife. Thicker stems might need an additional minute.
- Discard the remaining water in the pan and wipe dry with a towel. Return pan to the stove and add in the cooking oil and ginger, garlic and chile pepper. Turn the heat to medium-low. Once the oil in the wok begins shimmering, cook for another 15 seconds (take care not to burn the aromatics). Stir in the miso paste, water, soy sauce and sesame oil and cook another 15 seconds. Add the Chinese broccoli back into the pan, give everything a quick stir, then plate for serving.