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Chinese Vegetable Recipe (Choy Sum)

Chinese Recipe: Vegetable (Choy Sum)
Chinese Recipe: Vegetable (Choy Sum) pictures (6 of 6)

(Chinese recipes, prepare authentic Chinese food now!)

Vegetables are healthy and great, but they are boring and hard to cook. Unlike protein (such as meat or fish), vegetables don’t have much flavor. In Chinese cooking, the key to cooking vegetable dishes lies in the creative use of  side ingredients and sauces to bring out the taste and texture of vegetables.

Chinese love leafy greens: choy sum, kai lan, bok choy, gai choy, etc.  In everyday Chinese meal, there is always a vegetable dish to complement other main dishes. In Chinese or Cantonese restaurants, Chinese vegetables are often served two ways:  brown sauce (flavored with oyster sauce) or white sauce–a cooking style I am sharing with you today.

I used choy sum (菜心/油菜心) for this recipe–a very typical Chinese vegetable that you can get in any Asian stores. Choy sum is great with oyster sauce, but an occasional white sauce is awesome, too.

If you love Chinese recipes and wish to learn more about cooking vegetables, do master this Chinese vegetable recipe as it’s very versatile and goes well with most Chinese leafy greens.

Here is my recipe for choy sum with white sauce. Bon appetit!

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52 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

      • mia

        Thank you for sharing your recipes. My husband loves the vegetable dishes we get at our local market and always wonders how they make the white sauce. I will surprise him this weekend when I make this for him. Such vibrant colors!!!

  1. Looks great! I love choy sum… and gai lan… and on choy… and bok choy…. I think the trick with veggies is not to overcook them. This is also great with some browned garlic and fish sauce with a squeeze of lime..

  2. June Ong

    I find it hard to cook greens. They either get undercooked or overdone in my wok ! When there is Choy Sum in my grocery bag, I usually make Choy Sum soup with fish balls. Choy Sum is a popular vegetable dish because the Chinese believe it is not a ‘windy’ food. Neither is is ‘heaty’ nor ‘cold’. That’s why invalids and mothers in confinement can include Choy Sum in their menu.

  3. veron

    I am confused…I’m trying to educate myself with chinese vegetables. Does choy sum look similar to bok choy? do they taste similar? I’m going to the Asian store this weekend for serious shopping.

    • Suresh – what do you mean by lazy? Cooking is a chore, sharing a recipe with others is certainly not lazy as you think. This Chinese vegetable recipe is a simple and healthy recipe, not lazy.

  4. We also have to have some sort of veggie dish (or two) with our meals :) Love the Chinese style ways of preparing veggies! Bok choy is the one I find most often in the markets but I’ll keep my eye out for choy sum as well!

  5. Oh wow, this looks delicious!

    Although, I’ll have to disagree with you on one point. In my opinion, vegetables have lots of flavor – in contrast, I tend to find meat pretty tasteless, and in need of spicing up with veggies, herbs and spices. But then again, both my parents are vegetarian, and I’ve also grown up eating mostly vegetarian food.

    I do have to ask a question. I’ve noticed that a lot of your recipes include fish sauce. I read somewhere that soy sauce makes a good substitute for fish sauce in recipes, and I was curious about your opinion on that. I think fish sauce is a more authentic ingredient in Thai and other East Asian foods, but I don’t eat seafood, and tend to avoid anything with a fishy taste, so I’d like to know how much that affects the flavor.

  6. summer

    I forgot which wine to buy at the store and ended up with Shuang Jin Chiew. Can I use this instead? Rather – I’m going to use this instead and let’s see how my dinner turns out. :o) Hope to hear back from someone. PS I love your site, the recipes are wonderful and the photographs are so inspiring!

    • Hi Summer – I am not sure what is Shuang Jin Chiew, but you can always try. It doesn’t hurt. By the way, thanks for your kind comments about my recipes and photos. :)

  7. vishal

    I tried this today, the first recipe i have done from this site. I left out the shrimp as i felt for a vegetarian dish today, and it was quick, easy to make and delicious. Excellent recipe, i really enjoyed it

  8. Jeremy

    Hi there! i’m a great fan of your blog, as an overseas student craving home cooked food, this is the first place i go to whenever i need a recipe to satisfy my cravings :P

    i’ve been searching around for recipes for broccoli with 3 eggs ( century, salted and normal eggs) and i was wondering if you have any to share?

  9. Pippa Ross

    You mention to add mushrooms and the shrimp, but mushrooms are not listed with the ingredients. What kind and how much, please?

  10. Dear Rasa Malaysia,

    What is Shaoxing wine ? Can you give me its full name with company details ? Is it Chinese or malaysian Brand ? can you pls give another Chinese food wine name which I can use instead of Shaoxing wine ? Here ,I searched in our big Chinese shops they told me they have a chinese Wine to use in food name is ” Wangzhihe” . I did not buy it becoz it was written in chinese. I took the name and searched in Google and saw that it is Bean curd. If you give me the actual name with company details then I can order in the chinese shops . OR What I can replace if I do not get any wine or Shaoxing wine ? A good news , I found some chinese vegetables in chinese shops .
    Will be waiting for your reply .


    • susan

      If you can’t find Shaoxing wine, any cooking wine will do. I do sometimes use whatever I can find in my kitchen, but adjust the quantity accordingly. Hope this helps.

    • peterpantryraider

      Shaoxing is a prefecture-level city in northeastern Zhejiang province, People’s Republic of China where there are several of producers of red glutinous rice wine, hence the name. The wine is reddish in color due to the red glutinous rice used.

    • Alicia

      Hi Susmita, Shiaoxing wine is just a chinese rice wine. Pretty much any chinese rice wine will do. It has an alcohol content of around 14% like normal wine (so you don’t get it confused with a spirit). It will smell a bit like an English sherry and can be substituted easily with sherry if you can get that instead. Alicia

  11. Faiza

    Taste was good but sauce got thick as soon as I pour it over vegetables.I got more thick sauce:( will be more carefull next time

  12. Cyn

    I don’t normally review blog sites but I have to say that I just tried this recipe today and absolutely LOVED it!
    Yesterday I found Choy Sum at my groceries which was like finding gold. However, I have no idea how t cook it.
    When I searched the web I found your site and I still can’t believe how easy it was to cook with this recipe.
    The result was excellent. I used Mirin instead of the chinese wine and reduced the sugar to 1 tsp.
    Thanks again for posting this recipe. I can’t wait to order your book now :)

  13. mike Delepine

    Rasa, You have great recipes I’ll be making so many of you dishes for my wife and self.. Thank you for taking all this time to do this for all of us..

  14. shelby

    hi where can i get the shaoxing wine? or any cooking wine for instance. ive ysearched for it in mydin, giant, jusco and cold storage. all i got was the expensive french wine=\

  15. Zainab

    Hi! I love Chinese food. And I usually try out recipes in my kitchen. Though most of the times, I wonder how important is it to use Chinese rice wine or rice wine vinegar. Since I am a Muslim, are there any substitutes for the mentioned ingredients? Thank you so much for sharing your recipes and information on Chinese cooking.

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