I don’t often get excited about veggies, but steaming hot Chinese broccoli drizzled with a sweet and salty oyster sauce–it’s a dim sum dream come true. This Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce recipe is super quick to make and goes really well with so many entrees.
Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce is one of my favorite veggie dishes to order while eating dim sum alongside cheung fun, char siu bao, siu mai, or xiao long bao. It’s a traditional Chinese dish that was actually invented by the founder of Lee Kum Kee in Hong Kong to use with their famed oyster sauce.
What is Chinese broccoli or gai lan?
Chinese broccoli, otherwise known as gai lan, is a rich green veggie that looks a bit different from its western cousin sprouting broccoli which has a thicker stem and more florets. Gai lan looks more similar to bok choy with dark leafy vegetables at the top and thin stems. Broccolini is actually a mix between gai lan and broccoli.
Gai lan is typically used in many Asian cuisines and is typically sauteed, stir-fried, steamed, or boiled. One of my favorite ways to eat gai lan is in pad see ew! This version of Chinese broccoli is a traditional variation that uses an oyster sauced-based seasoning on the top to give it a salty flavor.
Substitutes for Chinese broccoli
I usually find them at my local Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean grocery stores like 99 Ranch or H-Mart, but these days you can sometimes find them in American stores too. If you can’t find Chinese broccoli at your local grocery store, you can substitute them for broccolini or even bok choy.
Ingredients in the seasoned oyster sauce
When you make this sauce at home, you can adjust the seasoning and flavors based on your preference. The seasoning for the sauce is fairly basic and includes the following:
- oyster sauce
- soy sauce
- Shaoxing wine
- sesame oil
- ginger powder
How to cook Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce
There are so many different ways to prep the Chinese broccoli for this dish. You can steam or blanch it in a pot of water, some people even microwave it. I like steaming the broccoli because I don’t have to wait for a large pot of water to boil. I follow it up with an ice bath or run the gai lan under cold water to prevent it from overcooking.
I like to steam the Chinese broccoli at the same time as I cook down the oyster sauce because it cooks in the same time frame.
Serving and storing
Once the oyster sauce is cooked down slightly, drizzle it over your freshly steamed Chinese broccoli and top with toasted sesame seeds, fried garlic, or any other toppings you prefer. I try not to save this because it’s best eaten fresh.
Easy Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce (Gai Lan)
- 200 g (8 stems) gai lan (Chinese broccoli)
- water for rinsing
- 8 g (2 tsp) sesame oil
- 15 g (1 tbsp) garlic minced
- 38 g (2 tbsp) oyster sauce
- 18 g (1 tbsp) soy sauce
- 15 g (1 tbsp) shaoxing wine
- 9 g (2 tsp) white granulated sugar
- .3 g (⅛ tsp) ginger powder
- fried garlic optional topping
- sesame seeds optional topping
- pan & steamer
- spatula/wood spoon
- Clean the gai lan and cut off the hard stems at the bottom (about ½ inch from the bottom).
- Pre-heat the steamer over medium-high heat. When it starts to steam and boil, add the gailan and bring it to a medium heat. Steam for about 4-5 minutes. Open the lid and test for doneness by piercing it with a knife. If it slides easily, it’s done.
- Use tongs to transfer the gai lan into a strainer and run it under cool water. Plate the gai lan and set it aside.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add sesame oil and garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds or until the garlic is fragrant, but not brown. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.
- Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until it has the consistency of maple syrup.
- Drizzle the sauce over the steamed gai lan and top with fried garlic or sesame seeds.