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A different take on Chinese broccoli

In our new column, The Cookbook, we share recipes that are both delicious and healthy, traditional and contemporary. The recipes are provided to us by Roots Community Supported Agriculture, which has partnered with the First Baptist Church on Atlantic Boulevard to bring locally-grown produce to Alhambra residents.
Chinese broccoli (or kai-lan in Cantonese) is one of the most widely eaten vegetables in Chinese cuisine. The leafy green is highly versatile, which adds to its popularity. It can be the centerpiece of a dish, or serve as a complimentary side. This week, chef Jessica Wang shares a recipe for Chinese broccoli that includes a slight twist. 
Chinese Broccoli and Corn with Garlic and Lime

Chinese broccoli at Cali Mart | Photo by Tim Loc

  • 3 stalks of Chinese broccoli
  • 1 ear of corn
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1 half lime
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or other cooking oil
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • Parsley or celery leaves to garnish
  • Pinch of za'atar or toasted sesame and thyme
Cooking Instructions
This dish is most delicious when cooked in a wok or large cast iron skillet. 
  1. Wash Chinese broccoli to remove any dirt. Save that water for your plants! 
  2. Peel garlic clove and chop rough. 
  3. Trim dry ends of broccoli stalks and discard or compost. Snap off leaves to expose the main stalks and cut stalks diagonally into 1/2-inch thick segments. Cut larger leaves into halves or thirds. 
  4. Lay ear of corn on its side on your cutting board and cut kernels from the cob. Gnaw on what's left on the cob or save it to throw into your next soup. 
  5. Heat the oil in your pan over medium high heat until it starts to shimmer. Add garlic. Cook until softened and immediately toss in broccoli stems. Cook for a minute and then add corn. Season with salt and pepper, stir, and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Fold in broccoli leaves and cook for another minute. Taste for doneness and seasoning. Adjust to your liking. 
  6. Transfer stirfry to a bowl and toss with lime juice. Sprinkle za'atar or sesame and thyme on top and finish with sprigs or celery or parsley leaves.  

Jessica Wang's culinary creations are also featured on her Instagram. Follow her @chinesebeancurd. Wang is a local chef who volunteers with the Asian and Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance (APIOPA). APIOPA is a nonprofit organization that brings healthy fruits and veggies to Alhambra through Roots Community Supported Agriculture. Click for more information on how to purchase the produce needed for this recipe, directly from a local farmer! 

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