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!
Wash the Kailan and shred or cut the leaves into very thin strips. Pat dry with a disposable kitchen towel.
Remove the fibrous outer covering of the stalks (especially near the root end), and set aside.
Remove the skin from the ginger and slice finely into thin shreds.
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.
In a bowl, mix the cornflour sauce ingredients in (A).
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 .
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.
Add 2 TBsp of oil into the wok. When hot, add in the shredded ginger and fry until golden.
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.
Add in the cornflour sauce mixture and mix well. Then transfer the kailan stems and crispy leaves onto a serving plate.
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.
Sprinkle the crispy anchovies on top of the crispy kailan leaves before serving.