Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cooking: Gai Lan with Garlic Sauce

Next to being a super duper carb-monster, I'm a pretty fabulous veggie-inhaler as well.  My parents never had to tell me to eat my greens twice.  No problem!  These days, I tend to position myself closest to them at the dinner table.  If you ever wind up eating with me, consider yourself warned! I may or may not be the reason why the veggies are disappearing :)

One of the vegetables I grew up eating are Gai Lan (Chinese broccoli).  It's green and leafy and good for you too.  My Dad still makes this pretty often and I've finally learned how he makes it taste SO darn good!  He serves Gai Lan with his wonderfully fragrant Garlic sauce, which is quick and easy to make, and very versatile.  It can be mixed with almost any vegetables (think bok choy, string beans, or a mix of zucchini/mushrooms/baby corn, etc).  I love Garlic and am pretty generous with it when cooking, so don't be afraid to throw in a few extra cloves like I do!

Here's a quick, easy and pretty healthy recipe (courtesy of my Dad aka my greatest cooking teacher!).

Gai Lan with Garlic Sauce

1 package of Gai Lan (usually found in an Asian grocery stores, already packaged in a plastic bag)
4 cloves of Garlic, minced
Vegetable Oil
1/2 Tsp Chicken Bouillon Powder (favorite brand is Lee Kum Kee, also found in Asian grocery stores)
1/2 Tsp Cornstarch, mixed with 1/2 Tsp Water

1.  Prep the Gai Lan
Rinse the Gai Lan with cool water and drain in a colander.

Trim the bottoms of the stems with a knife (slice off about the width of your pinky finger).

Then peel off about 1" of the skin at the bottom end of the stems using a vegetable peeler.

Peeling off the bottom 1" of the stems will make them more tender and easier to eat.
They should look like this once you're done!

2.  Cook the Gai Lan
In a large sautee pan, heat up 1 TB Vegetable Oil over medium heat.  Throw in the Gai Lan and lightly toss with the oil. 

Add water to the pot, just enough so that the Gai Lan is almost submerged.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Cook for 3-4 minutes.  You'll notice the color becomes a deeper green.  You can test if the Gai Lan is done by pricking the stems with a fork.  If it pricks easily, you're good to go!

Remove immediately from the water and set aside on a plate.

3.  Make the Garlic Sauce
Heat up 1-2 TB Vegetable Oil (depending on how generous you are with the garlic!) in a small sautee pan over medium-high heat.  Allow the oil to heat up for 30 seconds.  Add the minced Garlic and mix with the oil.  Sautee for 30 seconds.  Add 3-4 TB of Water and 1/2 Tsp Chicken Bouillon Powder.  Stir, cook for 1 minute.  In the meantime, get your Cornstarch slurry ready.  Mix it with the Garlic sauce and cook for an additional minute (this will thicken your sauce), stirring well.  Remove from the heat. 

4.  Pour the Garlic sauce over the plate of Gai Lan and ENJOY!

Try it out and let me know what you think!

Piggy KL


  1. We loved this recipe. Always wondered how the chinese made the garlic sauce

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