Stir-Fried Choy Sum With Minced Garlic

[Photographs: Shao Z.]

Stir-frying in a light sauce flavored with a little soy sauce and a lot of garlic is my go-to method to cook Asian greens. Quick, simple, and flavorful, it's really hard to go wrong no matter which greens you decide to cook. Check out the entire Chinese Greens 101 series here!

Note: For a milder garlic flavor, do not add garlic to sauce in step 1. During step 2, before adding sauce, add garlic to wok and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add the sauce and continue as directed.

Stir-Fried Choy Sum With Minced Garlic

About This Recipe

Yield:Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish
Active time:15 minutes
Total time:15 minutes
Special equipment:Wok
This recipe appears in: Chinese Greens 101: Three Basic Cooking Techniques for Chinese Greens Chinese Greens 101: Stir-Fried Choy Sum With Minced Garlic


  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper powder
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 pound choy sum, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable, canola, or peanut oil


  1. 1

    In a small bowl combine the ground white pepper powder, soy sauce, salt, cornstarch, sesame oil, and water together. Mix well and add the minced garlic (see note above). Set aside.

  2. 2

    Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the chopped choy sum and cook until bright green, about 40 seconds. Drain well.

  3. 3

    Heat vegetable oil in a wok over high heat until smoking. Add the choy sum, stir, and season with a few pinches of salt. Continue to cook while stirring regularly for about 2 minutes. Push the choy sum away from the center of the wok (see note above). Stir the sauce and add it to the center. Once it starts bubbling, combine it with the choy sum. Season to taste with more salt as desired. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately.


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