Chefs' Recipes

Tony Tan's stir-fried gai lan

"A Cantonese staple, this dish is a breeze to cook,” says Tony Tan.

By Tony Tan
  • Serves 2 - 4
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Stir-fried gai lan
"With its thick stems and glossy dark-green leaves Chinese broccoli is a joy to eat," says Tony Tan.
This recipe from Hong Kong Food City by Tony Tan (Murdoch Books, $49.99) has been reproduced with minor GT style changes.


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 400 gm gai lan, trimmed and cut into 8cm lengths
  • 4 paper-thin slices ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
  • ½ tsp caster sugar
  • 2½ tbsp chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • ½ tsp cornflour, mixed with 2 tbsp water
  • Pinch of ground white pepper


  • 1
    Bring 1.5 litres water to the boil in a wok. Add a pinch of salt and 1 tbsp vegetable oil, then the gai lan. Blanch for a minute, then tip into a colander and refresh under cold running water. Drain well.
  • 2
    Wipe out the wok with paper towel, return to medium heat and add the remaining oil, ginger and garlic. Stir-fry until fragrant (30 seconds), return the gai lan to the wok, and stir-fry for a further minute, then add the Shaoxing rice wine, sugar, stock, oyster sauce and soy sauce. Bring to a simmer and, when the sauce has reduced slightly, stir in the cornflour slurry and simmer to thicken. Adjust the seasoning with salt and white pepper and serve.


Chinese broccoli is sold young and fresh in Hong Kong. In the West it tends to be larger and more fibrous with thicker stems, which need to be peeled before cooking.