Gai Lan (Chinese Broccoli) with Toasted Garlic

Darker, leafier, and more slender-stemmed than Western broccoli, gai lan is nonetheless a cousin in the Brassica family, which also includes most cabbages, cauliflower, mustard greens, and bok choy. It’s worth seeking out in Asian grocery markets, but if you can’t find it, this recipe will work just as well with regular broccoli or broccoli raab.

Gai Lan (Chinese Broccoli) with Toasted Garlic
  • 500g gai lan (Chinese broccoli) or other type of broccoli
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • lemon wedges
  1. Prepare a deep bowl full of salted ice water; set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water (it should be as salty as tears) to a rapid, rolling boil.
  2. Trim any frayed ends from the stems of the gai lan. Cook it by handfuls, only until crisp-tender; plunge immediately into the ice bath. Drain.
  3. In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil over a medium heat until it is hot. Add the garlic and red pepper (if using), and cook without stirring, until the garlic begins to turn golden brown. Immediately add the blanched vegetable, and toss gently to stop the garlic from browning further. Cook until the vegetable is thoroughly hot.
  4. Season well with salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges.

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