Blanched Chinese Broccoli With Oyster Sauce

Chinese Broccoli With Oyster Sauce Recipe

 The Spruce

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
34 Calories
0g Fat
6g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 34
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1153mg 50%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 37mg 183%
Calcium 48mg 4%
Iron 0mg 3%
Potassium 210mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you've never had Chinese broccoli before, you're in for a treat. Far in flavor from regular broccoli, gai-lan looks and tastes different yet remains part of the same family of cruciferous veggies, like cabbage and cauliflower. Its bittersweet taste is best paired with strong-flavored sauces, like oyster sauce. Together, they're an easy and delicious side dish that goes well with any protein and particularly well with some steamed rice to soak up the sauce. This quick dish comes together in just 15 minutes once you have everything in place and is a great dish to serve during busy weeknights. Bring together grilled chicken breasts, rice, and Chinese broccoli and—voilà!—dinner is served. Or perhaps try flank steak strips, mashed potatoes, and Chinese broccoli. There's no way to go wrong with this succulent side dish.

Chinese broccoli is a leafy green plant that doesn't have protruding florets like broccoli, but flat leaves instead—pliable like kale or spinach—and little, subtler buds. It's easily found in Asian markets and some upscale supermarkets, and many online Asian food retailers that will deliver it to your door. Younger plants are more tender, while older ones tend to be tougher, so it's a matter of preference. That said, younger ones are faster to cook and could be an easier first introduction to this delicious plant. Chinese broccoli is best when stir-fried, boiled, braised, or steamed, although blanching it gives it a particularly pretty bright jade green aspect and a delicious crunch that is simply irresistible. The key to a successful Chinese broccoli dish is to clean the leaves well and trim the rough stems with a paring knife.

The wonderful flavor of this recipe comes courtesy of the oyster sauce, a delicious classic Chinese sauce that has a variety of uses. Made from oyster, soy, sugar, and thickeners, this is an effective and easy-to-use sauce that can transform plain dishes into delightful meals. Thick and sticky, it is as sweet as it is salty, like rich caramel, with wonderful umami notes that make this a must-have sauce in your pantry. If finding Chinese broccoli is difficult, use broccolini, and as a last resort, use regular broccoli, trimmed, and shaped in longer florets.


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  • 10 ounces Chinese broccoli, or broccolini

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 slice ginger, about 1/2-inch thick

For the Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons chicken broth, or water

  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine, or dry sherry

  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Chinese Broccoli With Oyster Sauce Recipe ingredients
     The Spruce
  2. Wash the Chinese broccoli; then cut off the ends, if not already trimmed, and cut into bite-sized pieces (about 2 inches long).

    Chinese Broccoli With Oyster Sauce Recipe
    The Spruce 
  3. In a large saucepan, add enough water to cover the broccoli. Add the salt, baking soda and ginger and bring to a boil.

    Chinese Broccoli With Oyster Sauce Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. While waiting for the water to boil, prepare the sauce. Combine the chicken broth or water, oyster sauce, rice wine or dry sherry, and sugar.

    Chinese Broccoli With Oyster Sauce Recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Bring to a boil in a small saucepan, then turn the heat down and keep warm while blanching the broccoli.

    Chinese Broccoli With Oyster Sauce Recipe
     The Spruce
  6. Add the Chinese broccoli to the boiling water. Cook until the stalks are tender but crisp—about 3 to 4 minutes.

    Chinese Broccoli With Oyster Sauce Recipe
    The Spruce 
  7. Rinse in cold running water and drain.

    Chinese Broccoli With Oyster Sauce Recipe
     The Spruce
  8. Pour the sauce over the broccoli.

    Chinese Broccoli With Oyster Sauce Recipe
     The Spruce
  9. Serve immediately and enjoy.

    Chinese Broccoli With Oyster Sauce Recipe
     The Spruce