How to cook Kai-lan Stir-fry (Chinese Broccoli Recipe)

Kale, Chinese broccoli, Chinese kale to some, kai-lan or gay-lan – they all refer to the same vegetable. Choose which name you prefer. In any case, let Cooking Like A Pro share with you a simple Stir Fried Beef and Broccoli recipe. This will take just a few minutes of cooking time, I promise!

Let’s cook kai-lan stir-fry  in oyster sauce!

Cooking Kai-lan Stir-fry (Chinese Broccoli Recipe)

Kale is one of those dark green, leafy vegetables. By those traits alone, you may guess that this vegetable hosts a powerhouse of nutrients. And how right you may be! Just like the broccoli and spinach, kale provides great benefits to our cardiovascular and over-all health. Adding kale in our diets would help boost our immune system and energy levels. Fortunately for all of us, kale is a low-calorie food, too; which makes it great for the weight conscious lots.

Let’s start cooking!

Kai-lan stir-fry

Jaime Inez
If you're looking for a delicious and wholesome stir-fry recipe, Kai-lan is a great choice. This dark green vegetable has large leaves and thick stems. It is widely considered to be one of the most flavorful vegetables in Asian cooking. Its complex and slightly bitter flavour makes it a fantastic addition to Asian dishes. To make this recipe, start by heating 2 tbsp oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. After the oil is hot, add the garlic and ginger and continue stirring. After the onions and garlic are done, add the soy sauce and oyster sauce. After this, add the broccoli.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Chinese, Filipino
Servings 4 servings
Calories 173 kcal


  • kale cut in halves
  • garlic crushed
  • garlic crushed and chopped
  • oyster sauce
  • fish sauce
  • Chinese cooking wine optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooking oil
  • hot water


  • Put oil in a very hot pan or wok.

Make sure the heat is medium-high. This helps in locking in the nutrients in vegetables as they tend to cook faster.

  • Saute' the chopped garlic.
  • When the garlic turns golden, add in the hard part of the kale. Stir well.
  • Cover the pan for about 2 minutes to soften the kale.
  • Add in the leafy part of the kale and the crushed garlic. Stir well.
  • Season with fish sauce and oyster sauce.
  • Add a little water if you want to have a bit of a sauce.
  • Lower the heat and cover the pan.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add half a teaspoon of Chinese cooking wine.
  • Cover the dish and turn off the heat.
  • Serve while hot.



The perfect accompaniment for Kai-lan is a stir-fried rice. This meal is full of nutrition. Served with a rice dish, this dish makes a tasty and healthy meal. It's a perfect meal that's perfect for anyone. If you're looking for a healthy and tasty recipe, Kai-lan is a great option. Soak the kale in water overnight and cook in hot oil over medium heat for 20 minutes.
Keyword kai-lan, kale
Cooking Kai-lan Stir-fry (Chinese Broccoli Recipe)

Notice that I didn’t add any artificial seasonings here in the form of MSG or flavored mixes. If you think the dish lacks in flavor, add some oyster sauce in there. If it gets too salty though, try adding water and/or sugar into the dish. The trick is to season with a little of each ingredient so you can easily play with the flavors.

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Tips and Tricks

Stir-fry Kai Lan (Chinese Broccoli) with crispy garlic – tracethefoodlove

Cooking Tips for Perfect Kai-lan Stir-fry

When it comes to stir-frying Kai-lan, there’s a fine line between perfectly cooked and overdone. The trick lies in the high heat and quick action. You want to hear that sizzle as soon as your Kai-lan hits the pan. Trust me, it’s music to the ears of stir-fry lovers!

Make sure your Kai-lan is dry before tossing it into the pan. Water can lower the temperature of the oil, leading to soggy greens instead of that delightful crunch. Speaking of crunch, don’t forget to blanch those stems! They take a tad longer to cook than the leaves, so giving them a head start is crucial.

FAQs to Satisfy Your Curiosity

  • “What if I can’t find Kai-lan?” No worries! While Kai-lan has a unique flavor, you can substitute it with broccoli or broccolini if needed. The cooking times may vary slightly, but the result will still be delicious.
  • “Can I add proteins to my Kai-lan stir-fry?” Absolutely! Chicken, beef, tofu – you name it. Just cook them first before adding your Kai-lan to ensure everything is evenly cooked.
  • “Is there a secret to that restaurant-style Kai-lan stir-fry?” Is there a secret to that restaurant-style Kai-lan stir-fry? Yes, and it’s called “wok hei” – the breath of the wok. It’s the slightly smoky, charred flavor that comes from a hot wok and quick stirring. Achieving that at home can be challenging, but not impossible, especially if you’re using one of the best woks for electric stoves. The key to nailing that wok hei is not just technique but also the tools you use. If you have an electric stove, finding the best wok that conducts heat efficiently and evenly can make all the difference. Look for a flat-bottomed wok that sits well on your stove’s surface, ensuring maximum contact and heat distribution. A wok with a heavy base will also retain heat better, giving you that perfect sear on your Kai-lan. Remember, when it comes to stir-frying on an electric stove, patience is your friend. Allow your wok to preheat until it’s smoking hot before adding your oil and Kai-lan. This might take a bit longer than it would on a gas stove, but trust me, the results are worth the wait. With the right wok and a bit of practice, you’ll be dishing out Kai-lan stir-fry with that irresistible wok hei in no time.
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How to Serve Your Kai-lan Stir-fry

When it comes to serving up your Kai-lan stir-fry, think of your plate as a canvas and you’re the artist. The vibrant green of the Kai-lan leaves, the glistening of the sauce, and the contrasting textures are all elements that can make your dish not just a meal but a masterpiece.

Start by choosing the right plate. A clean, white dish can make the greens pop, but a dark or colored plate can provide a dramatic backdrop that’s equally stunning. Lay down a bed of steaming jasmine rice or twirl some noodles in the center, creating a nest for your Kai-lan to sit upon. This not only adds height and dimension but also ensures that every forkful has the perfect balance of carb and veg.

Now, take your freshly stir-fried Kai-lan and arrange it thoughtfully over the rice or noodles. If you’ve included stems, place them like the spokes of a wheel with the leafy tops fanned out for an eye-catching display. For those who love a bit of texture, sprinkle a handful of toasted sesame seeds over the top. Their nutty flavor and crunch are a simple yet effective way to elevate the dish.

A final flourish of sesame oil is more than just a condiment; it’s a sensory experience. Drizzle it lightly over the Kai-lan, and watch as it gives the dish a glossy sheen. The aroma released will be enough to draw everyone to the table before you’ve even called them.

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not add a few edible flowers or herbs as garnish? A sprig of cilantro or a scattering of chive blossoms can introduce a new color and hint at the flavors within. It’s these little touches that show the care and creativity you’ve poured into your cooking.

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And let’s not forget about the sides. While the Kai-lan stir-fry is undoubtedly the star, it loves good company. Consider serving it with a side of pickled vegetables for a tangy contrast or a small bowl of chili oil for those who crave a spicy kick.

As you bring the dish to the table, take a moment to appreciate the medley of aromas, the harmony of flavors, and the beauty of your presentation. Encourage your guests to dive in while the Kai-lan is still sizzling – there’s nothing quite like that first bite of something made with love and served with pride.

In the end, how you serve your Kai-lan stir-fry can transform a simple weeknight dinner into a special occasion. It’s a reminder that food is not just sustenance; it’s an expression of creativity and a reason to gather. So go ahead, put on your chef’s hat, and let your culinary flag fly high with your stunning Kai-lan stir-fry.

Personal Touches and Final Thoughts

I must say, Kai-lan stir-fry holds a special place in my culinary heart. There’s something incredibly comforting about the process – the chopping, the sizzling, the aromas that fill the kitchen. It’s not just a dish; it’s an experience. And every time I see those vibrant greens on my plate, I can’t help but feel proud of creating something nourishing for myself and my loved ones.

So, next time you’re pondering what to whip up for dinner, consider the humble yet mighty Kai-lan stir-fry. It’s a simple dish with the power to impress, nourish, and satisfy. Give it a try, and who knows? It might just become a staple in your kitchen repertoire.

Remember, cooking is an adventure. Each ingredient, including our beloved Kai-lan, has a story to tell. So gather your wok and your spatula, and let’s make some delicious memories, one stir-fry at a time. Happy cooking, friends!

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