lily buds stirfry

Fresh Lily buds have only in recent years entered the Malaysian market as an edible flower. All this while, dried lily buds are used. Not many people knew what to do with fresh lily buds or how to cook these green coloured lily buds. So far, I have only seen fresh lily buds being served on chinese styled dishes, though I have also seen it being served as a form of tempura. Lily buds are actually aromatic, though not as fragrant as the flower itself. Hence, when you stir fry them, you get a pleasant smelling dish.

lily buds

I bought a packet of this during my recent trip up Cameron Highlands. They are sold quite cheaply compared to those sold down here in Kuala Lumpur. Just rinse them to rid them of any dust or dirt and soak them in water for about 15 minutes or so – just in case they come with some pesticide. You just never know. Anyway, this dish only takes less than 5 minutes to stir fry and it is enough to be shared by 2 or 3 persons depending on how much each person wish to eat. What you get is fragrant and slightly sweetish lily buds paired with fresh prawns and crunchy carrots. Hochiak!

This is my recipe for Stir Fried Lily Buds with Prawns.



  • 100 to 150 grammes of lily buds
  • 100 grammes of carrot (julienned)
  • 8 to 12 small or medium sized prawns (shelled and deveined)
  • 3 cloves garlic (chopped finely)
  • 150 ml of hot water
  • corn starch (mix 1 teaspoon corn flour with 50 ml water)
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil



  • Salt and white pepper powder to taste
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce



Heat oil in wok. Saute garlic with prawns till prawns start to curl and turn red. Remove prawns from wok and add carrots and lily buds. Stir well for 2 minutes whilst sprinkling water gradually to keep it moist.

Add seasoning before returning prawns to the wok. Stir for another minute or two. Add a little bit of corn starch to thicken gravy prior to serving.

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  1. 1
    January 3rd, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    I saw this fresh lily buds in the Taiwan supermarket here and at first thought they are long beans/french beans …something.

  2. 2
    January 3rd, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    Dear Pablopabla

    I just discovered ur blog through “Babe in the City” blog and have since then can’t stop reading ur blog..thanks for making me feel that cooking is not a difficult task anymore and is so interesting. I really can’t wait to try out all the recipes posted by you..:) Here wishing you and your family a Happy New Year, stay healthy and happy!! 🙂

  3. 3
    Mama BoK
    January 6th, 2008 at 7:17 am

    I never had that before.. 😉

  4. 4
    January 7th, 2008 at 11:42 am

    tigerfish : Can you still find them? Try them out. They are delicious!

    CL : Thanks for your kind wishes! Happy New Year to you and your family and hope that you will try the recipes with success 😀

    Mama Bok : Are you able to get them where you are?

  5. 5
    July 13th, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Sorry i m just a beginner, may i know what is lily bud in hokkien?

  6. 6
    July 15th, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Yean : It’s called Kim Cham (golden needle). It is more common to find them as dried lily buds, which are yellowish golden in colour.

  7. 7
    July 25th, 2011 at 1:45 am

    Can I use dried lily buds in this recipe? I’m surprised that you made a dish with fresh lily buds. I have got a few Asian cook books and in all of them authors claim that lily buds are never used fresh, but always dried.

  8. 8
    August 5th, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Jola : Yes, these were fresh lily buds which can be bought in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia.

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