Broccolini in XO Sauce
Broccolini in XO Sauce

Broccolini is very much like the Chinese vegetable, Gai Lan, and a perennial favorite in Dim Sum restaurants is Gai Lan in Oyster Sauce. Here, I am doing a quick little dish inspired by that favorite, except that I am using Broccolini as the vegetable, and replacing the Oyster Sauce with the much more decadent XO Sauce (and just a splash of Rice Wine).

You really only need three ingredients to make this dish. For a small sharing plate for a few friends, you will require nothing more than one bunch of fresh broccolini, 2 or 3 tablespoons of a good quality XO Sauce, and about 4 tablespoons of Rice Wine.

Ideally, you should pre-Blanch the broccolini for this dish. If you are new to Broccolini, or the blanching process in general, you may want to take a look at my Introduction to Broccolini.

XO Sauce mixed with Rice Wine
XO Sauce mixed with Rice Wine

To make your sauce, simply stir the XO Sauce and Rice Wine together. This is one of those times when ‘less is more’, so it best to go easy and try not to ‘drown’ your broccolini.

Flash-frying Broccolini
Flash-frying Broccolini

For the actual cooking, you need to use just a little oil in a suitable pan over very high heat as we are going to flash-fry the Broccolini. If you have pre-blanched (as I have here), you really only need to cook for a minute or so, tossing the stems to prevent scorching. If the Broccolini is raw, the frying will take a little longer and require more attention but, in either case, it is advisable to splash a little water (or Chicken Stock) into the pan to create a little steam.

Adding XO Sauce to Broccolini while Stir-frying
Adding XO Sauce to Broccolini while Stir-frying

When the Broccolini is tender enough and heated through, throw in the sauce and stir fry for a final few seconds. Serving immediately is best (and this is highly recommended if intended as a dim sum serving) but the dish can be allowed to cool and be quickly re-heated if necessary.

Although this dish is very Asian, especially Cantonese, in character, you need not limit yourself to serving it as Dim-Sum style appetizer, or one of the dishes in a Chinese meal, as it is actually pretty versatile. I ate a few pieces hot from the pan but the rest were cooled and then later used as a vegetable side dish for an otherwise western style meal of pork cutlets and potato.

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