As soon as I saw a fresh batch of these leafy vegetables at the market, I grabbed a pound to make Chinese Broccoli Stir-Fry with Shrimps. I always want to start the week right with leafy greens. In my recipe below, I offer two ways to cook it: Stove-top in a skillet or in the current favorite, the Instant Pot. I’ve been waiting for this type of broccoli to be available at our favorite Asian market. I see Chinese Broccoli served at Asian restaurants in stir fry dishes, steamed or mixed in soups. And quite often, the dish we order is pricey, so I was glad to buy these vegetables to cook at home.
At times, the Asian groceries label this vegetable as Gai -lan. The stalks are longer than the American broccoli and are thick towards the bottom. This is why I steamed the Chinese Broccoli for a few quick minutes before tossing it all in the skillet to stir fry. That way, the dish cooked faster.
I am not a nutrition expert, but wellness sites online mention the health benefits of this leafy green. The Chinese Broccoli is said to be beneficial for the cardiovascular system, for asthma sufferers, for eye health, among other interesting and timely issues.
We have enjoyed a savory stir fry dish of Chinese Broccoli at restaurants and many times it was flavored with garlic and oyster sauce. Many Filipino dishes are influenced by Chinese cooking. This stir-fry dish had the right amount of saltiness and flavorful combination that was ideal to serve with steamed rice, a staple at our meals.
So, I tried to recreate a similar dish here at home for our weekend meal. Right after stir-frying the aromatics, I added the steamed leafy greens and the skillet sizzled with an array of colors, textures and salty aromas. The Gai-lan stems turned a bright green and the thick leaves were a shiny shade of emerald green. It was a beautiful backdrop to the vividly orange shrimps. When cooked, there was an herbal, earthy and slightly sweet flavor. The succulence of the fresh shrimps made every bite even more irresistible especially when served with rice. This is the kind of meal that becomes a keeper in my recipe repertoire because it is so versatile. This can transcend from a weekend family dinner to a busy weeknight, quick entrée and always, it is a joy to cook and savor.
Chinese Broccoli Stir Fry with Shrimps
- 1 pound stems trimmed Chinese broccoli
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 cloves peeled and minced garlic
- 1 medium-sized piece sliced white or yellow onion
- 1 knob about 1 inch sized-piece, peeled and sliced fresh ginger
- 1/4 pound peeled fresh shrimps
- 2 Tablespoons thick soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon shao xing rice wine
- 1 cup organic vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- for serving steamed rice
- Over high heat on briskly boiling water, in a steamer, steam the broccoli for 5 minutes to soften stems. Drain liquid. If desired, keep a cup of the vegetable water to use for the stir-fry. Place the steamed broccoli in a colander and set aside.
- In a large wok or skillet, over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil.
- Stir fry the garlic, onions and ginger for 1 to 2 minutes till the combined aromas are fragrant and onions are translucent.
- Add the shrimps and continue to stir fry for 6 minutes till they are orange.
- Pour the thick soy sauce, rice wine and vegetable broth. Blend well.
- Add the steamed broccoli. Mix well with the shrimps and rest of the ingredients.
- Season with salt and black pepper. Continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes more till flavors are blended.
- Serve warm with rice.
- To cook in the Instant Pot:
- Place broccoli in a silicone or metal steamer basket, about 7-inches in diameter that can fit in the inside pot.
- Place the steamer basket with the vegetables atop the trivet that comes with the Instant Pot.
- Close the lid. Set the sealing valve. Click on High Pressure and Steam for 3 minutes.
- When steaming is done, do a quick release of the valve. Click Cancel to turn off. Open the lid carefully.
- Using silicone mitts, remove the steamer basket with the steamed broccoli.
- Save a cup of the vegetable water used for steaming. Discard the rest. Set aside the broccoli.
- Using the inside pot, click Saute. After 1 to 2 minutes, when inside pot is hot, add the vegetable oil.
- Saute the garlic, onions and ginger. Add the shrimps and continue Saute till shrimps turn orange in about 5 minutes.
- Pour the soy sauce, rice wine and vegetable broth. Add the steamed broccoli.
- Season with salt and black pepper. Quickly stir ingredients for 1 minute, turn off Saute button.
- Serve warm with rice.
- Product Disclosure: I was not paid to mention or cook with the Instant Pot or any multicooker. The opinions on this post are my own.
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Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe? I have more classic recipes inspired by my late mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
Hello, Friends! Please DO NOT LIFT OR PLAGIARIZE my original recipe, stories, photos or videos. All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos, essays, stories and recipe content on your websites, books, films, television shows, videos, without my permission. If you wish to republish this recipe or content on media outlets mentioned above, please ASK MY PERMISSION, or re-write it in your own words and link back to my blog AsianInAmericaMag.com to give proper attribution. It is the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]