This easy peasy stir fried chicken and kalian (Chinese broccoli) recipe is my go to during my time as a University student. Kailan or Gailan or Chinese broccoli is one of my favorite dark, leafy vegetables. Kailan tends to hold itself when reheated, it stays crunchy making it a perfect meal prep greens. Kailan is also a versatile vegetable, they taste incredible in stir-fries, curries, soups, salads wraps, porridge and many more.
Is Stir Fry Healthy?
Yes & no. It depends on your ingredients and method of cooking. Stir fries that requires pre-deep frying and lots of bottles sauces can be high in sugar, salt and calories. This is especially when you pair it with carbohydrates such as rice and noodles.
However, you can definitely work towards making a healthy stir fry at home. Using good cut of meat and being careful with the amount of sauces you add when cooking is key to making a healthy stir fry. My recipe below includes adding oyster sauce AND fish sauce, but if sodium content in your meal is a concern, simply cut down on the amount of fish sauce used.
How to prepare Kailan (Chinese Broccoli)
You may have previously researched on how to prepare and cook Kailan. At some point of my life, so have I. Most will tell you that the Kailan should be blanched with hot water first, rest the Kailan in a cold water bath (to stop Kailan from cooking) and to cook the sauce properly. This might be THE method most Master Chef China would go with, but as a time poor home cook who loathes washing dishes and wasting icy cold water- I definitely don’t prepare this way.
I genuinely think you can avoid over-cooking your Kailan. My solution is to prepare the Kailan by cutting them and separating them into two parts – stalk and leaves. This way you can add them into the wok at a different time. By separating them this way, you still get fresh crunchy Kailan without the time and effort blanch it in hot and cold bath – I leave that to the expert in a restaurant (after all, I do pay for the food to taste good and presentable!). While I may have compromised on the presentation of this dish, I definitely did not compromise on taste. Yummy!
To enhance the flavor of this dish, especially when using lean meat, marinating them prior to cooking is recommended.
Stir Fry Chicken with Kailan (Chinese Broccoli)
- 1 piece Chicken breast meat approximately 0.5 lbs/250gm
- a pinch Salt & Black pepper
- few drops Sesame oil
- 1 bunch Kailan (Chinese Broccoli)
- 1 tbsp Oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp Fish sauce
- 3 cloves Garlic minced
- a pinch Black pepper
- few drops Sesame oil
- ½ tsp Chicken salt
- ¼ cup Cooking oil for frying
- Cut chicken in cute little bite pieces
- Add salt, pepper and sesame oil – mix them together
- Put aside for a few minutes
- Wash and Cut Kailan into 2 separate sections (stalk and leaf)
- Heat the wok and add oil
- Fry the marinated chicken pieces
- Fry until the chicken is half cooked (the outside of chicken has turned to white)
- Add garlic
- Add the stalks of Kailan
- Add oyster sauce
- Add fish sauce and black pepper
- Add chicken salt
- Add the leaf part of Kailan
- Fry until the chicken is cooked and the leaf has changed in color (to darker green)
- Use chicken thigh fillet if you prefer fattier meat
- For a more authentic chinese flavour, you can add a dash of Shaoxing Wine
- For best results, keep heat on HIGH at all times.