Kai Lan done 2 ways on a white square plate

Kailan Done in 2 Ways (Yin Yang Kailan / 阴阳芥蓝)

Kailan Done in 2 Ways, or Yin Yang Kailan, is a popular Chinese restaurant dish that gives you 2 different flavours and textures from one vegetable! Topped with crispy anchovies for that added crunch!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword yin yang kailan, kai lan done 2 ways, fried kai lan
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 143 kcal
Author Bee Leng | The Burning Kitchen


  • 500 g Kai Lan (Chinese Brocolli)
  • 50 g Ikan Bilis (Silver Anchovies) or Dried Scallops
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 300 ml Oil For deep-frying the kai lan leaves
  • 3 slice Ginger
  • 50 ml Water
  • 2 tsp Chinese Rice Wine Hua Tiao Chiew / Shao Xing Jiu
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Soda To blanch the kailan stems

(A) Cornflour Sauce Mixture

  • 1.5 tsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 2 TBsp Water Water from soaking the anchovies
  • 1/4 tsp Cornflour


Preparation Method

  1. Wash the Kailan and shred or cut the leaves into very thin strips. Pat dry with a disposable kitchen towel.

  2. Remove the fibrous outer covering of the stalks (especially near the root end), and set aside.

  3. Remove the skin from the ginger and slice finely into thin shreds.

  4. Rinse the anchovies, then soak in a small bowl of hot water for 10 minutes. Drain dry and keep the anchovy water for later use.

  5. In a bowl, mix the cornflour sauce ingredients in (A).

Cooking Method

  1. In a wok, heat up 300ml of oil over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add in the shredded kai lan leaves in small batches and deep-fry until crispy but not burnt (see tips). Then transfer to a plate lined with kitchen towel to soak up excess oil .

  2. Remove the oil from the wok. Add 200ml of boiling water and the baking soda into the wok, then blanch the stalks for a few minutes (why baking soda? See tips). Transfer to a plate and discard the water.

  3. Add 2 TBsp of oil into the wok. When hot, add in the shredded ginger and fry until golden.

  4. Next, add in the kailan stems and stir-fry until soft but still crunchy. Then add in 3 Tbsp of water (water from the anchovies) and stir fry for another minute. Salt to taste.

  5. Add in the cornflour sauce mixture and mix well. Then transfer the kailan stems and crispy leaves onto a serving plate.

  6. Place the anchovies on a microwavable plate. Cover the anchovies completely with a paper kitchen towel and microwave for 1 min. After 1 min, give it a stir before microwave for another min. Repeat the process until the anchovies are golden and crispy. 

  7. Sprinkle the crispy anchovies on top of the crispy kailan leaves before serving.

Recipe Video

Top Tips


  1. Add in a few strips of kailan leaves to check if the oil is hot enough. If the oil bubbles vigorously, it is hot enough.
  2. Do not deep fry the Kailan leaves for too long or it will turn black in color. The moment the leaves change to slightly darker green, it is time to remove with a sieve. 
  3. Deep fry the kailan leaves in small batches to prevent burning.


  1. Do not over-soak anchovies until they become bland. In case you have over-soaked them, add salt to taste.
  2. You can replace the anchovies with dried scallops. or have them both. You need to boil the scallop for a little while to soften it before shredding them by hand into fine strip. Add a little oil in the wok and fry the scallops until golden and crispy . 
  3. Add a little sugar to the leaves immediately after transferring them onto a plate while they are still hot. Give them a quick stir before serving.