choy sum with oyster sauce

I love simple to cook dishes. And with vegetables, I like them quickly cooked so as to retain the texture and nutrition. Hence, this dish is one of my favourites. Choy Sum (sometimes known as Chinese Mustard Leaves or Chinese Flowering Cabbage or Sawi) is one of the most popular leafy greens available in markets in South East Asia. It can be cooked and eaten on its own or cooked with other ingredients.

In most chinese restaurants (especially those in Malaysia), you can order this dish but the price which they charge (approximately RM6.00 and above for a plate) does not justify the price of Choy Sum and the ease of preparation. It’s like getting ripped off. If you can get them from the market, you can cook this dish by your self at home. As long as you know how to boil water and fry “something”, you can be a chef just like those at chinese restaurants.

This is the recipe for Choy Sum with Oyster Sauce



  • Choy Sum (amount up to you really, just wash them thoroughly. Then, pluck and separate the stem from the leaves. For the thicker part of the stem, try to remove the “skin” using a knife)
  • About 5 bulbs of shallots and / or garlic (slice shallots or finely chopped garlic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt + 1 tablespoon of palm oil
  • 3 tablespoons of palm oil (for frying)
  • Water for boiling



  • Oyster sauce (amount up to you)



Heat up 3 tablespoons of palm oil in a wok and fry the shallots or garlic till golden brown. Remove fried shallots / garlic and set aside. Keep the oil separately.

Meanwhile, bring water to boil in a pot. Once it starts boiling, add salt and 1 tablespoon of palm oil. Allow water to boil briskly.

Add choy sum stems into the boiling water. Add leaves approximately 15 seconds after that. Stir well to ensure even blanching.

Once leaves have turned dark green (which is really beautiful!), remove leaves and stem from pot and arrange on a plate.

Drizzle the oil (which was used to fry the shallots / garlic) over the cooked choy sum followed by oyster sauce and top it up with fried shallots / garlic.

Congratulations! You are now a certified chinese chef!



technorati tags: recipe vegetable blanching choy sum chinese malaysia tags: malaysia

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  1. 1
    July 1st, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    I’m not aware that choy sum is called chinese mustard leaves. I’ve always known choy sum as flowering greens, literally goes with any type of green vegetables that contain small yellow flowering greens in the center of the vegetables, ie. Bok “Choy Sum”, and Yu “Choy Sum”. Chinese mustard greens are known as Siu Gai Choy.

  2. 2
    July 2nd, 2007 at 10:01 am

    MeltingWok : That’s what I think it is called. I have a feeling that it is given different names by the non-chinese. When I was in Leicester, UK, it was known as Chinese Leaves!


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