This is a recipe for the Chinese Broccoli dish that is one of the most popular vegetable dishes at Yum Cha (Dim Sum). Steamed Chinese Broccoli (called Gai Lan) drizzled with a fabulous garlic ginger Oyster Sauce. Despite what you may read in other recipes, it’s not just plain Oyster Sauce – you need other flavourings!
Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce
Real “restaurant style” Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce is NOT just oyster sauce (despite what you will read in many recipes claiming it is that simple!).
A sauce made with just oyster sauce will just taste of that – plain oyster sauce dolloped on greens. And if you’re happy with that, then there’s no need to read further because this recipe for real Restaurant Style Chinese Greens with Oyster Sauce has more than 1 ingredient in the sauce!
What it tastes like – Steamed Chinese Broccoli tastes like broccolini stems with spinach leaves. Smothered in a sweet-savoury garlic ginger sauce that will make anything delicious, it’s no wonder this is the most popular vegetable dish at Yum Cha!
This is the steamed Chinese Greens dish that is pushed around in rattling trolleys at Yum Cha!
Chinese Broccoli (“Gai Lan”)
Here’s a good look at the Chinese broccoli, raw. The Chinese name is Gai Lan.
It’s called Chinese broccoli because the stem has the same texture as broccoli. The leaves look and taste like spinach leaves – but they’re thicker.
What goes in the Oyster Sauce
Here’s what you need for the Oyster Sauce.
The Chinese cooking wine (aka Shaoxing wine) is the key ingredient that adds depth of flavour and complexity to the sauce. Substitute with Mirin or Dry Sherry. If you can’t consume alcohol, substitute with chicken stock.
Restaurants typically use quite a bit of oil when serving this dish – you can usually see it pooled on the plate. I have significantly reduced the amount of oil used, and believe me, you won’t miss it at all. It is the sauce that is the star of this dish. You don’t need oil (well, not very much).
How to make Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce
Here’s how to make it. I tend to microwave steam vegetables, for sheer convenience. But feel free to use any method that’s most convenient for you.
What to serve with Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce
I make this as a side dish to Asian meals quite regularly because it’s so fast to prepare and will pair with any Asian cuisine. I also like that I can make a scaled up batch of the Sauce and keep it in the fridge (around 5 days) and I use it to douse any plain steamed vegetables!
Here are some meal suggestions incorporating these Chinese greens:
There’s certainly no shortage of possibilities! – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Restaurant Style Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce
- 1 bunch Chinese broccoli ("Gai Lan") (Note 1)
- 1 tsp corn flour / corn starch
- 6 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine (sub Mirin or Dry Sheer, Note 1)
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil (or canola or peanut)
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 clove garlic , finely grated
- 1 tsp ginger , finely grated
- Trim ends off Chinese Broccoli. If any stems are super thick, cut them in half (you want all stems approximately the same width).
- Steam Chinese Broccoli using whatever method you want - I microwave in a steamer on high for 4 minutes. The stem should be just cooked - not super soft and floppy.
- Stack the Chinese broccoli together and cut into 4"/10cm lengths, then stack neatly on top of each other.
- Combine water and corn flour in small saucepan, mix to dissolve.
- Then add remaining ingredients, turn stove onto medium and bring to boil. Boil for 30 seconds to allow to thicken, then remove from stove.
- Drizzle over Chinese broccoli and serve. Best served warm.
Originally published 2014, updated with new photos and video in February 2020.
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