Q-Chai Soup

Soup, Vegetable October 31st, 2007

q chai soup


Chinese people are fond of drinking soup and it is amazing the types of soup which they cook. Part from meat based soup, vegetable based soup is also highly popular, including the use of leafy greens. One of the vegetables which can be used for a simple and quick to cook soup is the Q-chai. I have tried hard to look for the exact name for this vegetable but to no avail. Q-chai is the hokkien name for this vegetable. It looks like lettuce but it has a stem not unlike pak choy. If anyone knows the exact name for this vegetable, do let me know. In the meantime, I can only show you what it looks like prior to cooking. The stem is thinner than pak choy.


q chai

You can stir fry this vegetable with garlic just like many of the leafy greens but this vegetable fares quite nicely as a simple soup. This is the recipe for Q chai soup.



  • 250 grammes (wash and cut into 3 inch lengths)
  • 3 cloves garlic (chopped finely)
  • 50 grammes of ikan bilis (rinsed)
  • 500 ml water
  • 2 tablespoons palm / peanut oil



  • 3 teaspoons light soya sauce
  • salt to taste
  • a pinch of msg (optional)



Heat oil in a wok and fry ikan bilis till golden brown. Remove to one side of the wok and add garlic. Fry garlic in oil till light brown. Push ikan bilis back into the garlic and add water.

Bring water to boil before adding vegetables. Bring water to boil again, add seasoning and cook till vegetables are cooked to your desired softness.

Serve hot.

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  1. 1
    October 31st, 2007 at 11:00 pm

    Hi! My name is Nee & I blog about food, recipes, food reviews & living in Kuching. I hope that you can add me to your food blogger’s list! TQ!

  2. 2
    November 1st, 2007 at 6:45 am

    It looks like a kind of sunny lettuce to me.

  3. 3
    dancing queen
    November 1st, 2007 at 4:14 pm

    Over here, they call it ‘sayur kerinting’ or ‘wrinkled’ vegie. In mandarin, it’s called ‘zou cai’ meaning the same thing.

    It’s nice no matter how it’s cooked. Sweet & juicy! 🙂

  4. 4
    November 6th, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    Nee : I don’t usually add food bloggers on the visits unless I actually visit their blog regularly and find them good enough to recommend to others. I will check out your blog.

    alice : They look cheerful enough 😀

    dancing queen : I believe it is the same thing as “Q” or what it sounds like means “curly” in Hokkien. Great vegetable for the table 😀

  5. 5
    November 11th, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    Hi, this is called ‘pa4 bo2 cai3’in hokkien .

  6. 6
    November 13th, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    Alfafa : Er, no. The “Pa Bo Chai” which you mentioned is another type of leafy green. PBC has dark green colour and reedy looking stems and limps fast (hence its name). This veg has light green colour leaves and wider stems.

  7. 7
    March 26th, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    Hi, I’m new to this blog. I’m from Sarawak. This vege called “Q-mo Chai” in Hokchew, one of my favorite vege. My mum use to cook this Q-Chai soup for the lunch/dinner since I was a kid, simple but very fresh & sweet. I hardly find this vege in KL.

  8. 8
    March 27th, 2008 at 10:03 am

    Godspeed: Hello! Welcome! This veg can be found in some wet markets in KL but they are not as common as kailan, siew pak choy or pak choy.

  9. 9
    March 21st, 2009 at 2:21 am

    I believe this is called teochew pek.

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