This Hong Kong Style Chinese Broccoli stir-fry is so easy and amazingly flavorful. I keep asking myself why I waited this long to try Chinese greens prepared in a wok. They are so amazingly delicious. Seriously!
The key to success in preparing these vegetables is to precisely (sort of) cut the stems and leaves into equally sized (as best you can) pieces, and separate the thicker stems from the delicate leaves. The stems are added to the wok about 90 seconds before the leaves. As a result, both the stems and leaves are perfectly cooked at the same time.
What else makes this veggie dish so delicious? Chinese bacon (lop yuk). I found it in a small package in the refrigerator section of my local Asian market. It's sweeter than the bacon we are familiar with, and comes in slabs, not sliced. I'd like to some day find the dried version that is carried by Chinese butcher shops, but in the meantime, this was really tasty.
True confession time: After my prior success in finding Chinese broccoli for this post, I was feeling pretty smug about finding it without a problem. I'm a pro at this after all, right?
Sadly, my local Asian market did not have any!! Aaack! Then I remembered that in my previous post that I had mentioned alternatives to the broccoli. I pulled up my post on my phone (while standing in the produce section) and saw that Grace recommended yau choi as an alternative. Yay! While she says that it does not have the crunchy stems, the package I bought seemed to have decent sized stems (I'm thinking that the yau choi I bought was fairly mature).
I know, I know. I'm sitting here talking about the merits of gai lan versus yau choi. Do not be intimidated. You can learn this stuff! Just get yourself a copy of Grace Young's Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge: The Ultimate Guide to Mastery, with Authentic Recipes and Stories.Then join our Wok Wednesday's Facebook group. It's the best apprenticeship ever! (P.S. the yau choi was perfect, with a great balance of crunchy stems and tender leaves).
You also must check out my friend Cathy's amazing post about this recipe. She always does such an amazing job of showing the mise en place for each stir fry.
I decided to serve these vegetables with pan-seared thick cut steaks. Each stacked forkful of steak, bacon, and veggies tasted so good.
Which brings me to the steak! I wanted to show you the versatility of these stir-fries, especially the vegetables. You don't have to make an entire meal of Chinese dishes to enjoy these greens. I was able to stir fry the vegetables while these steaks rested after searing.
The method for preparing these pan-seared thick-cut steaks is designed to create a beautifully browned crust without ending up with gray meat directly underneath. The goal is to have perfectly pink meat that is super juicy, and still achieve a delicious caramelized crusty outside.
This technique works! Add some rice or potatoes, and you have a steak lover's meal. Wouldn't it be cool if Ruth's Chris, Mastro's, or Fleming's served stir-fried gai lan or yau choi with lop yuk as a side? It could be all the rage in New York, Chicago, or Kansas City (I know Los Angeles would be all over it)!
The recipe for the Chinese broccoli is on page 190 of Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge by Grace Young.
Here's how to make the steaks! (adapted from Cooks Illustrated, May 2007)
Pan-Seared Thick-Cut Filet Mignon Steaks
Two 8 ounce 1 1/2 inch thick filets mignon
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
- With a shelf positioned in the middle, preheat the oven to 275 degrees F and place a wire rack onto a baking sheet.
- Dry the steaks with paper towels and generously salt and pepper both sides of the meat. Pat the meat down so that they are evenly thick.
- Bake the steaks until they reach an internal temperature of 95 degrees F, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven.
- Heat one tablespoon of oil in a heavy skillet over high heat until it shimmers.
- Sear one side of the steaks for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Flip the steaks over, and sear the other side for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.
- Remove the steaks from the pan, and then stack one on top the other. Using tongs, sear the edges of the steaks, turning as soon as the edges are browned.
- Place the steaks back on the rack, tent with foil, and let rest while you whip up the Chinese broccoli!