4 portions. Maximum cost: £5.70, 

Skill level: Easy,

Total cooking time: 15 minutes, 

  • Prep time: 5 minutes, 
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes, 

Equipment used: 1 wok (or a large frying pan) with lid OR tin foil, 1 serving dish, 

Original recipe: Steamy Kitchen Chinese broccoli  (Gai Lan) in oyster sauce

If you can’t find Chinese broccoli (or want to use leftover veg), you can substitute the gai lan for tendersteam broccoli or pak choi instead – I quarter the pak choi (leaving the root in tact so that the veg holds together) and slice the thicker stalks of broccoli in half (without breaking the floret) to ensure it cooks evenly. Otherwise, follow the recipe as below.

As well as using greens, I like to add shitake mushrooms – if you can get these from the Chinese Supermarket, then do – they appear to be of much higher quality (and cheaper) than the equivalents sourced in a more supermarket.



To cook:

(Original recipe in bold font)

To wash the gai lan, trim 1-inch from the ends of stalk and discard. In large wok or pan (large enough to hold all stalks), heat just 1 tablespoon of the cooking oil over medium heat.

When the oil is just starting to get hot (the garlic should sizzle upon contact) add 4 whole garlic cloves and let them fry until golden brown on all sides. Be careful not to burn the garlic, you just want to toast them – if the garlic starts turning dark brown, turn the heat to low.

Toasting the garlic should take about 2 minutes. While the garlic is toasting, in a small bowl mix 4 tbsp stock, 1 tbsp of rice wine and 1/4 tsp of sugar and set aside.

Turn the heat to high and add tan inch of ginger (peeled and cut into discs), fry for 30 seconds. Add the gai lan and use your spatula to scoop up the oil so that every stalk has been bathed with the ginger/garlic-infused oil for 30 seconds.

Pour the stock mixture into the wok and immediately cover the wok with a tight fitting lid (or use tin foil). Turn the heat to medium and let the vegetables steam for 3-4 minutes, until stalks can be easily pierced with a paring knife or fork.

Remove the gai lan to a plate, leaving any remaining stock mixture in the wok. If you want, pick out and discard the ginger coins. To the wok, add 3 tbsp of oyster sauce and 1/2 tsp of sesame oil and allow to bubble and thicken on high for 1 minute. Pour the sauce mixture over the gai lan and serve.


Food Basics Queensway



All ingredients sourced from Food Basics in Queensway

  • 300g of Chinese broccoli (Gai Lan) (£3.20 for a packet)
  • 3 whole garlic cloves, peeled and gently smashed but left intact (50p for a bulb)
  • 4 tbsp vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger, cut into 1/8″ coins and smashed with side of cleaver (20p)
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce (£1.80 for a bottle)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil


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