Talk about requiring “mis en place” or having all of the ingredients for a dish selected, washed, cut and “in place” before starting to cook… This dish was literally done in less than two minutes from the time the fat was added to the hot wok! Stir fried chinese broccoli was a favorite dish of ours when we used to live in Singapore, and it always arrived both still crunchy yet cooked, glossy with oil and sauce, but never swimming in liquid. There was a version that was blanched or steamed that was moister as well. When you try and replicate this stir-fried dish in a standard pan on an indoor stove, you inevitably end up partially steaming the veggies which I find less appealing.
I started with some chinese broccoli or gai lan, with the tougher parts of the leaves trimmed off, and the stems cut to smaller pieces. Washed, and dried, these were ready to cook. Based on the recipe attributed to Lee Wan Ching in the book “The Breath of a Wok,” I prepared a little mixture of chicken broth, shaoxing rice wine, some sugar, salt and cornstarch. I also sliced a small piece of ginger into 3-4 pieces. Heat up some oil, saute the ginger slices for a few seconds, then add the broccoli and listen to it sizzle while you use tongs or a ladle to move the veggies around. Add the broth mixure and stir fry for a minute or so longer until everything is coated and there is just a little sauce left.
Serve immediately. I could have this with a small bowl of rice if I were on a self-imposed diet. But of course we had some squid, shrimp, etc. as well. :) This may be a new wok, but let me tell you, I think I can tell the difference between gai lan cooked on this wok compared to the same recipe cooked on the La Germania stove indoors…