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7 Substitutes for Chinese Broccoli: Enhance Your Dishes

Ever find yourself standing in the kitchen, staring at a recipe that calls for Chinese broccoli and thinking, “Now what?” We’ve all been in that pinch. Lucky for us, the universe of greens is vast and forgiving.

Replacing Chinese broccoli isn’t just about keeping your dish on track. It’s a chance to play, to experiment with flavors and textures that are waiting right under our noses—or in this case, in our fridges.

Our own kitchens have seen it all. From the emergency swaps to the “This might be crazy enough to work” moments. And guess what? It usually works.

In this guide, we’re sharing our top secrets. The vegetables we turn to when Chinese broccoli is nowhere to be found. Simple. Straightforward. Brilliant.

7 Easy Substitutes for Chinese Broccoli

When those leafy green cravings kick in and Chinese broccoli is nowhere to be found, here are 7 substitutes to keep your dish going strong.

VegetableTasteTextureSuitable Dishes
Broccoli RabeSlightly bitter, robust, earthyLeafy, crunchy stemsSautés, stews, pasta dishes
Bok ChoyMild, slightly sweetThick, crunchy stems, tender leavesStir-fries
BroccoliMild, slightly sweetCrunchy florets and stemsSautés, roasted, pasta dishes
BroccoliniMild, slightly sweetTender stems and floretsPasta dishes
KaleEarthy, slightly bitterSturdy, fibrous leavesSautés, soups, salads
SpinachMild, slightly sweetTender, delicate leavesSautés, soups, salads
Mustard GreensPungent, pepperySturdy, fibrous leavesSautés, stews, braised

1 – Broccoli Rabe

Broccoli rabe steps up as our first go-to. It’s bitterer, yet works wonders. We toss it into dishes needing that green kick. Its leaves, more slender, and its buds, slightly flowered, make for an eye-catching plate. Cooking softens its sharp edge.

We’ve found it mirrors Chinese broccoli’s crunch after a quick sauté. A one-to-one swap does the trick. Sautéed or blanched, it slips into recipes without a fuss. Its versatility surprises us every time.

In our many “What now?” moments, broccoli rabe has saved our dinners. We’ve laughed over how a simple switch can rescue a meal. It blends into stir-fries, pasta, and even our morning eggs.

Curious cooks craving more about how broccoli rabe can shift the dynamic of their dishes should peek at how broccoli rabe can shift the dynamic of their dishes.

2 – Bok Choy

Bok choy, we bring it in when we need something crisp. Its stalks stay crunchy; its leaves, tender. A bite of this, and dishes wake up.

We toss it into the pan, watching it shrink, yet hold its ground. The flavor? It’s milder than you’d expect. This green doesn’t hide in the shadows. It makes its presence known, complimenting rather than overshadowing.

We’ve used it as a stand-in more times than we can count. Sometimes, it steals the show. That’s the power of bok choy. For those aiming to swap, go with a 1:1 ratio. It slides into soups, stir-fries, and more without missing a beat.

Eager cooks can learn more about how bok choy changes the game in their kitchen creations here.

3 – Broccoli

Regular broccoli steps in with ease. It’s the sibling that’s always ready to help out.

We cut it into small pieces, aiming for that perfect bite. Texture wise, it brings a similar crunch. Flavor leans on the sweeter side, a pleasant surprise.

We find ourselves reaching for it in many meals. It dives into soups and stir-fries, making friends along the way. Swapping at a one-to-one ratio keeps things simple.

Our dishes stay vibrant, packed with the good stuff. If your greens shelf runs low, broccoli jumps in without a second thought.

Folks looking to mix things up can learn more on substituting greens in their recipes by checking out this helpful guide on broccoli and its fellow substitutes.

4 – Broccolini

Broccolini jumps in as our fourth choice. This green veggie nails it. It’s like broccoli’s lankier, cooler cousin. Tastes a bit sweeter too.

We chop it up and toss it in. Works like a charm. Broccolini fits into any dish. Its stems cook to perfect tenderness. You won’t regret it. Quick cooking keeps its vibrant color.

Sauté or steam, it stands out. Adds a fancy touch without the fuss. We use it exactly like Chinese broccoli. A direct swap, no problem.

In every dish, broccolini shines. It’s easy and blends well. For those hungry for more, find how broccolini can revolutionize your dishes in this guide on broccolini substitutes.

5 – Kale

Kale swings in as a vibrant, leafy green. This veggie stands out for its nutritional punch. We often use it in crunch time. Its leaves have a robust texture. They hold up well in cooking. Kale’s taste leans earthy, a nice backdrop for dishes. We add it for a nutritional boost.

It slips into soups and sides easily. The trick? Keep it simple. A one-to-one swap with Chinese broccoli works. We chop it roughly, then toss it into the pot or pan. It wilts nicely, melding into meals. Kale has become a staple in our meal rotations.

For those interested in how kale can alter your cooking game, check out this guide on substitutes for kale for more insights and recipes.

6 – Spinach

Spinach enters the scene as our sixth pick. This leafy green is a powerhouse of nutrition. We often toss it into whatever we’re cooking. Its leaves are tender and cook down quickly. Spinach brings a mild, slightly sweet flavor to dishes.

It’s a perfect substitute for Chinese broccoli. We’ve found a 1:1 swap works well. It slips into soups, stir-fries, and almost anything else we’re making. For us, spinach has been a reliable go-to.

It blends well without taking over. Our meals stay lively and nutrient-rich. Check out this article if you’re looking for more ways to use spinach in your dishes: how spinach can shift the dynamic of their dishes.

7 – Mustard Greens

Mustard greens jump onto our list as the last resort. These greens aren’t shy in flavor.

They bring a peppery kick to any dish they meet. Mustard greens work wonders. We cut them up and toss them into our meals. They wilt nicely, adding depth.

A one-to-one substitute ratio keeps it easy. Our go-to method? We sauté them. Mustard greens fit well into a variety of dishes.

For those who enjoy a bit of spice, mustard greens are a solid pick. They add character. Interested in mixing mustard greens into your cooking? Find out how they can change up your meals here.