Friday, August 24, 2012

Rapini with oyster sauce


Oyster sauce is the Chinese version of ketchup. I think. It goes on just about anything, and it pretty much brushes up boring food into palatableness. I use soy sauce more often (especially in Japanese cuisine) but oyster sauce is my go-to when I make a stir fry.

Today I just chopped up some rapini (or broccoli rabe) for a 5-minute dinner. Quick, painless and delicious.

Here's what I used:

A bunch of rapini (broccoli rabe)
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoon of sesame seed oil
1/2 cup of Shaoxing wine
Pinch of salt

Peer the cloves of garlic and slice thinly. 

Throw them in a frying pan with sesame seed oil and wait until they start to bubble nicely. 

While you wait for it to sizzle, wash the broccoli rabe in cold water, drain and chop roughly into inch-long pieces. 

Toss the thicker ends in the pan first - you want to give them a bit more time to cook. Toss (or stir if your left hand isn't complete master of tossing pans of unwieldy food!) and cook on high heat for a couple of minutes, then add the softer leaves.

Toss once or twice, and pour in that wine. Dry white wine or (water at a pinch) is fine, but this Chinese wine gives food a mellower and deeper dimension. It's worth searching out!

Add a pinch of salt, toss well and cook for a couple of minutes or so until the leaves are wilted and the stems a bit crunchy but no longer hard.


Pour over a bowl or plate of rice and realize that white rice on a white plate is not photogenic. 

Drip oyster sauce over the greens, and serve immediately. 


A bunch of rapini would make a light meal for two. You can substitute with bok choi - vegetables with a slight bitterness go very well with the complex sweetness of the oyster sauce. Enjoy!

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