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Deep Fried Kale: Date Added: 11 Nov 2009
Listed in: Chinese / Chinese - Fruits/Vegetables

1 bunch kale or Chinese broccoli (gai larn)
(available at Chinese stores)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Groundnut/peanut oil -- for deep-frying

Cooking Instructions

Choose a bunch of broccoli with large good-quality leaves. Cut off the leaves (discarding any brown, wilted ones) and, with a sharp knife, cut out the center stem from each leaf. After washing the leaves, dry very thoroughly.

Stack 4 or 5 leaves on top of each other, roll up firmly and shred very finely with a sharp knife. Repeat this procedure until all the leaves are shredded. It is essential to shred perfectly evenly, or you will not achieve the correct degree of crispness.

Fill a wok one-third full of groundnut oil, and heat the oil to moderately hot. There should be a faint haze coming from the oil and the oil should shimmer. Add a handful of the shredded kale leaves and stir gently as they deep-fry; cooking time will be only 20 to 30 seconds. Remove with a strainer as soon as the leaves are bright green. Repeat until all the leaves are cooked.

Drain off the groundnut oil, leaving a film of oil behind. Reheat the wok for a few seconds. Return the kale leaves and toss quickly in the hot dry wok. Sprinkle in the salt and sugar, and continue to toss the crisp leaves until thoroughly mixed. Remove to a plate and serve. (The leaves should crumble in the palm of the hand.)

Optional: Soak a few dried scallops (available at Chinese stores) in warm water for several hours, then steam for 30 minutes. Break the scallops into shreds, squeeze dry in a tea towel, then deep-fry over low heat. Sprinkle through the kale leaves just before serving.

This recipe yields 4 servings.

Comments: The Chinese have an amazing knowledge about their plant resources, even though no specific word corresponds to "vegetables," reference in Chinese is made by the word tsai, which simply translates as "greens."


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