Crispy Fried Chinese Broccoli

  • Active Time 15m
  • Total Time 30m

Serves 4

The Chinese have an amazing knowledge about their plant resources, even though no specific word corresponds to "vegetables," reference in Chinese is made by the word tsai, which simply translates as "greens."
The green vegetable used in this recipe is known as Chinese kale, gai larn, or Chinese broccoli. Every part of the kale is edible, even the tiny white flowers, though only the leaves are used to make this stunning accompaniment to a special meat dish.


  • 1 bunch of kale of Chinese broccoli (gai larn) (available at Chinese stores)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Peanut oil, for deep-frying


Choose a bunch of broccoli with large unblemished leaves. Cut off the leaves (discarding any that are brown or wilted) and with a sharp knife, cut out the center stem from each leaf. After washing the leaves, dry very thoroughly.

Stack 4 or 5 leaves on top of each other, roll up firmly and slice very finely with a sharp knife. Repeat this procedure until all the leaves are shredded. It is essential to make very thin shreds or you will not achieve the correct degree of crispness.

Fill a wok one-third full of peanut oil, and heat the oil to moderately hot. There should be a faint haze coming from the oil and the oil should shimmer. Add a handful of the shredded kale leaves and stir gently as they deep-fry; cooking time will be only 20-30 seconds. Remove with a strainer as soon as the leaves are bright green. Repeat until all the leaves are cooked.

Drain off the oil, leaving a film of oil behind. Reheat the wok for a few seconds. Return the kale leaves and toss quickly in the hot wok. Sprinkle in the salt and sugar, and continue to toss the crisp leaves until thoroughly mixed. Remove to a plate and serve. (The leaves should be crisp and crumble in the palm of the hand.)

OPTIONAL: Soak a few dried scallops (available at Chinese stores) in warm water for several hours, then steam for 30 minutes. Break the scallops into shreds, squeeze dry in a tea towel, then deep-fry over low heat. Sprinkle through the kale leaves just before serving.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.

RecID 2608

nutrition information per serving

109 calories; 11g total fat; 0mg cholesterol; 156mg sodium; 3g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 1g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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