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Stir-Fried Yau Choi with Oyster Sauce

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From “Stir-Frying To The Sky’s Edge,” by Grace Young

When George Chew stir-fries yau choi (also known as choi sum) he’s able to cook twice the amount called for in this recipe because of the power of his Wolf range. For cooks using stoves with average power, no more than 12 ounces should be cooked. Check the width of the stalks about 1 inch from the bottom: if they are ½ inch or more in diameter, cut the stalks in half lengthwise. If you don’t halve the thicker stalks, once the delicate leaves are cooked the stalks will still be raw. George trims the bottom of the yau choi stalks before washing and then dries the vegetables in a salad spinner.

I’ve tried stir-frying yau choi in a skillet, but the wok is preferable because its deeper bowl shape makes it easier to stir-fry bulky vegetables. This combination of oyster sauce and fish sauce is also delicious with other greens such as Chinese broccoli and bok choy. If the vegetable seems dry in the wok, George swirls in 1 to 2 tablespoons of white wine or sake.

Serves 4 as a vegetable side dish.


  • 12 ounces yau choi (about 9 stalks)
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1∕8 teaspoon ground white pepper


    1. Trim ¼ inch from the stem end of each yau choi stalk. Cut the stalks in half lengthwise if ½-inch or more in diameter. In a small bowl combine the oyster sauce and fish sauce.
    2. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the oil, add the garlic, and stir-fry 10 seconds or until the garlic is fragrant. Add the yau choi and stir-fry 30 seconds or until the pieces are lightly coated in the oil. Sprinkle on the pepper and stir-fry 1 minute or until the leaves are just limp and the yau choi is bright green. Add the oyster sauce mixture to the wok and stir-fry 30 seconds to 1 minute or until the yau choi is just crisp-tender.
Photo by Steven Mark Needham

Reminder: The ingredients in a recipe determine if it should be eaten every day, some days, or on special occasions. It's up to you and you doctor to determine what can be part of a healthy diet for you and any special needs you may have.

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