Before we start cooking, let me share how to prepare and cut kailan to give you a restaurant worthy dish on the table. Kailan is a green leafy vegetable which is commonly cooked in garlic stir-fried way or with salted fish. However, some people avoid kailan altogether because the farmers use a lot of pesticide during the planting and right before harvesting this veggie as it is proned to attacks by caterpillars. It is a claim I can’t verify at my level. Since avoiding is not what I recommend, so am sharing how to clean this veggie so we consume it with a clear conscience at home.
Before cooking, rinse the uncut kailan with clean water to wash off soil or other debris and soak in clean water for 10 minutes. Change the water after 10 minutes and this time, add 2 to 3 tablespoon of salt in the water and soak for another 10 to 15 minutes. What do we call salt water? Yes, smartie, it’s brine but we do not have to soak in concentrated brine. After that, rinse the kailan in clean running tap water before cooking. Ensure the earlier salt water is completely removed from the veggie.
There are basically 2 types of kailan sold at the market, baby kailan and the matured kailan. Cutting baby kailan is a breeze; cut the kailan to the length of about 2 inches long. However, I cannot say the same for cutting matured kailan as the bottom stem of matured kailan is a kinda thick. Use a knife to first peel the outer layer of the stem (the almost woody skin of the stem). It will reveal a light green softer inner stem. Cut the stem in thick slices. As for the leafy part, cut them to the length of 2 inches.
400 grams kailan, cleaned and cut
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 teaspoons hua tiao wine
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons water
- Heat oil on the pan over medium-high heat and add in the garlic, saute till fragrant.
- Add in the kailan and stir-fry over medium heat for 2 minutes. If you feel the kailan is starting to burn, add the water.
- Turn heat to medium-low, add in the hua tiao wine and salt to taste. Saute for another minute before turning off the heat.
Serve the stir-fried kailan with steamed rice.