Gai Lan with Fried Shallots


Gai lan, also known as Chinese broccoli, are a cultivar of the Brassica oleracea species that also includes kale, Brussels sprouts, and collard greens. As a popular Cantonese dim sum option, these emerald stalks are blanched and drizzled with oyster sauce to add umami and tame a slight bitterness. At Teoswa establishments, fried shallots are added because — well, because they improve pretty much everything. Combined with shallot-infused oil and a touch of thinned oyster sauce, they transform a vegetable side into a decadent main attraction.

Serves 2-3  with other dishes

  • 1 lb gai lan
  • 1 large shallot (or 2 small shallots), thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1.5 tbsp salt
  1. Trim the ends off the gai lan and peel any tough larger stems. Discard any yellow or blemished leaves.
  2. Heat wok over medium-high heat, then add oil and shallots. Reduce heat to low and gently fry shallots, stirring occasionally, until crisp and lightly golden. This may take up to 20 minutes. Err on the side of less-fried, as the shallots will continue cooking a bit even after you remove them from heat.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a pot of ~12 cups water and 1.5 tbsp salt to a boil. Add gai lan and return to a boil, then blanch for 3 minutes until bright green. Turn off heat and drain gai lan well in a colander. 
  4. Once shallots are fried, turn off heat and transfer the shallots using a strainer or slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined plate. Transfer the shallot-infused cooking oil to a small bowl and mix with oyster sauce and water.
  5. Arrange gai lan on a plate. Give the sauce mixture a few vigorous stirs and drizzle over the greens. Top with the fried shallots and serve.
VegetablesDiana Zheng