Chinese Broccoli in album food

In Albums:food produce cabbage

Raw chinese broccoli, a leafy green vegetable with long stalks, tied in bunches with rubber bands, with a sign

Feb 27th, 2011, by Alex Zorach

This Chinese broccoli was for sale at the Newark, Delaware farmer's market for $1.99 a pound. I love Chinese broccoli, and I think it is a shame that it is so rarely available in the U.S. It is a cabbage-like plant, and although it does not look at first glance like broccoli, the connection is immediately evident upon eating it.

Chinese broccoli is essentially the same plant as the familiar western broccoli, but it has been cultivated over the years for its stem and leaf, rather than the flowerheads. The flavor of Chinese broccoli is very similar to the flavor of the stem and leaves of western broccoli, but the texture is quite different: Chinese broccoli tends to be much more tender, in contrast to the tough, fibrous stems and rather tough leaves of western broccoli.

Chinese broccoli is outstanding stir-fried with chicken (the familiar "chicken with broccoli" is an Americanization of this dish, and trying the real thing will likely satisfy you), and also outstanding stir-fried on its own with a heavy dose of garlic and perhaps some soy sauce. I also love the use of this vegetable in Cantonese-style noodle soups and stews, where several stalks are thrown in a bowl with egg noodles and a bit of meat, forming a very simple meal that somehow always hits the spot.