Chinese cooking vegetables
This Chinese style cooking method I ‘m going to share today is the simplest and easiest way to enjoy green vegetables. It only requires four ingredients, takes ten minutes to prepare, and is super healthy and delicious!
If you have read some Chinese cookbooks or been to Chinese restaurants before, you probably have heard of dishes like Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce or restaurant style Chinese greens. This variation on those is a very simple dish but is flavorful and healthy, and especially great for a weekday dinner table.
My recipe here is slightly different, as it replaces oyster sauce with light soy sauce and is even easier to prepare. It tastes great either hot or cold. It’s very low in calories and sugar and high in calcium, iron, vitamin A and C. It contains no cholesterol.
The cooking process is extremely easy. The vegetables are boiled, then drizzled with garlicky oil and soy sauce. The magic happens when you blend the garlic oil with the soy sauce. Those two flavors blend so well, that the raw flavor of both the vegetables and of the condiments are gone. The refreshing greens will be finished up with a savory flavor of garlicky nuttiness and fermented salty beans. If you want to add an extra kick to the dish, throw in 2 dried chili peppers when you add the garlic to the oil.
The best part is, you can use this method for all types of vegetables. For example, I have tried it with Chinese broccoli (Gai Lan), spinach, broccoli, lettuce and cauliflower. They are all very tasty yet with different flavor characteristics.
Although it’s called Chinese style, the dish actually goes well with all types of cuisine. For example, it’s a great for side dish for any meat, poultry or seafood. My family also uses it as a green salad, when we have a simple dinner like bread and cheese.
The dish is just so versatile and easy that my family cooks it all the time and we never get tired of it.
OK now, less talking and more cooking! 🙂
If you like the video, don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel! I have a collection of cooking videos that walk you through the delicious recipes at Omnivore’s Cookbook. It is one of the fastest ways for you to get used to the techniques that are used in Chinese cooking!
Author: Maggie Zhu
Recipe type: Side
- (option) pinch of salt and vegetable oil to blanch greens
- 2 cups (200 grams) baby bok choy (or greens like spinach, Chinese broccoli, broccoli and lettuce)
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
- 3 - 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- Bring a pot of water to a boil, add a pinch of salt and several drops of vegetable oil (so that the blanched vegetables will look greener), mix well. Add baby bak choy, boil till cooked through, in about 1 minute. (If you cook with other types of greens, be noted that the blanch time varies) Drain vegetables and place in a plate, set aside.
- Heat wok on medium high heat till hot, add peanut oil and swirl for a few seconds, add garlic and stir immediately. Keep stir fast and constantly till fragrant and edge of garlic turns slightly golden. Stop heat immediately (The garlic will continue to cook in the hot oil, so it will turn to crispy without get burnt). Pour all the oil with garlic on top of blanched vegetables (*see footnote 1).
- Drizzle soy sauce on top of vegetables and serve while warm. (*see footnote 2)
(1) You could cook several serves garlic oil ahead and store it up to 1 week under room temperature, so you are able use them directly without turning on stove. However, I found the freshly cooked oil is more delicious, since the hot oil will continue to cook the greens a bit and make it tastier.
(2) You should always drizzle the garlicky oil and soy sauce right before you serve the dish. Soy sauce contains salt, if you add it too early, the greens with loss water and the sauce in the dish will be diluted.
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