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It happened just over a year ago. I walked up to a farmer's market stall, poked a toothpick into a shiny green stalk of a sample salad, and was smitten. It was the first time I'd tasted Chinese broccoli, also called gai-lan and kai-lan (pronounced guy-lan).
I've always loved what I consider 'regular broccoli' and my favorite part is not the florets, but the peeled stalk. Chinese broccoli delivers that peeled stalk flavor without peeling and the leaves are delicious too, similar to bok choy but with more chew and the flavor of, well, broccoli.
Photo Credit - Jules: Stone Soup
If this vegetable is new to you as it was to me, have a look at this post by Jaden of Steamy Kitchen. She offers a great description of Chinese Broccoli and what to look for when you go to buy it.
I whisked up the dressing for this salad on a weeknight and we liked it so much that I had to share it with you. There's nothing to it. You probably have the ingredients in your refrigerator. If you can't find Chinese broccoli, toss it with regular broccoli, bok choy, or most any veggie you can think of. And you can make it a meal by turning it into a Soba Noodle Bowl (swap in for Bok Choy).
Chinese Broccoli Salad with Sesame Sriracha Dressing
- 4 bunches Chinese Broccoli about 1 ½ pounds
For the dressing:
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons ponzu sauce or soy sauce if you prefer
- 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce or more
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- Fill a large bowl with water and ice. Set aside.
- Trim ends from Chinese broccoli, then cut in half crosswise, separating the leaves from the stalks. If any stalks are thick, cut them in half lengthwise.
- Heat about 1-inch of water in a large lidded pot or wok, bring to boil. Lay stems in an even layer over the boiling water and place leaves across the top. Cover and steam 3 to 5 minutes, to desired tenderness.
- With a slotted spoon, transfer broccoli to ice bath.
- While the broccoli cools, prepare the dressing. Combine garlic, ponzu sauce, and sriracha sauce in a small bowl then slowly drizzle in sesame oil, whisking constantly. Set aside.
- Transfer cooled broccoli with a slotted spoon to a serving bowl. Pat dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.
- Drizzle dressing over broccoli and toss to coat evenly. Serve.