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Chinese Greens


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i have passing familiarity with a few Chinese/Asian greens--Napa cabbage (bok choy?), Chinese broccoli, pak choy, etc., but today was the first time i saw and bought these. what are they called?

(excuse my newbie-ness with re: to Chinese greens. :smile: )

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here's the seasoning i used to stir-fry them, from L to R, salt, sesame oil, black sesame, red miso paste, hoisin sauce, pepper-garlic paste (from Sweden!?), garlic...

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and here's me adding a small amount of Szechuan pepppercorn, because i wrecked food with this once :laugh: :

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...and the finished dish, with fried tofu and a Sapporo beer. this is one of my favourite saturday night meals. :wub:

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so are there any online illustrated Chinese greens sites?

what do you do with Chinese greens?

"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the ocean."

--Isak Dinesen

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The one on the left looks like Choy Sum and on the right, one of the Shanghai bok choy cabages.

Take a look at this site:

http://www.nre.vic.gov.au/trade/asiaveg/thes-00.htm

Look at "White Flowering Cabbage", and 'Shanghai Flowering Chard'.

When it says 'white flowering' it doesn't mean that the flowers are white, but rather that it is a white cabbage with flowers. Choy Sum has yellow flowers -- as compared with Chinese broccoli which has white ones.

I, myself, like greens with just garlic and a dash of oyster sauce.

Have you ever tried toasting the Sichuan Pepper in a dry pan, until they are toasted and just beginning to smoke?? Bring out a wonderful flavor.

Is that an iron wok you are using?

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I, myself, like greens with just garlic and a dash of oyster sauce.

Ditto. When I buy those, that's the way I cook them. Very quickly stir fried. And then add fried egg tofu.

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Jo-Mel is right, the one on the right is "Shanghai Bok Choy", a.k.a. qing cai. It's an everyday vegetable in Shanghai. Usually it's not chopped as small as you did, and it's usually braised with nothing else save oil and seasoning (though the small ones are sometimes used as a garnish for dishes like "lion's head" meatballs).

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Ditto what everyone else said about types and preparation. These two veggies in particular require only basic, minimum preparation and seasoning, otherwise distracts from their delicacy. That means absolutley no spices at all, only soy or oyster sauce, oil and garlic for me. Miso? :huh:

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The one on the left looks like Choy Sum and on the right, one of the Shanghai bok choy cabages.

The one on the left should be Bok Choy ( 白菜 ), not Choy Sum. I am from Hong Kong and at least that's what they are called in Hong Kong.

Edited by hzrt8w (log)
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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In North America, bok choy are much, much larger. The white leaf stalks are sometimes 2-3 inches across at the base and sometimes they are a foot or more long. What you see pictured is what we would call choy sum on these shore. I come from a long line of peasant stock who worked the fields of Toysan , everyone of my relatives would agree with me :rolleyes: .

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What you see pictured is what we would call choy sum on these shore.

I beg your pordon. You are right. I took a second look at the picture again. They do look like choy sum than bok choy. I was misled by the white color to lead to my conclusion. Bok choy's shape is rounder at the bottom.

Edited by hzrt8w (log)
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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I steam/parboil mine and then cover them in sesame oil. Yum!

I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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  • 2 years later...

To simplify my question... What are some of the ways of cooking Chinese Green Vegetables that we get in the Chinese Stores?

Thanks!!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

One of the things I used to love in our local Chinatown was cooked Chinese Green Vegetables. I don't know how they made it, but somehow it had a great flavor and I could never match that at home. I guess they would add chicken stock, chicken fat or msg to enhance the flavors but it was more their cooking style that would bring out the essential flavors of the leafy greens. I guess the Chinese word for one of the flavors I am referring to is xiānwèi (the 6th savory taste, which is also associated with chicken stock, msg, meats mushrooms, soy products and others). My question is which Chinese Green vegetables have more savory taste in them and what is the best way to cook them? I cook all kinds of greens at home... bok choy, baby choy, choy sum, Chinese Broccoli, regular broccoli, Chinese Cabbage, water spinach, Mustard Greens... and there are tons more available in our local Chinese stores. Could you also please suggest some good recipes to cook these vegetables, even if these recipes are as simple as blanching them in water?

Thanks a lot!

Edited by ash123 (log)
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The way I cook most of my greens is stir fry with some garlic.

Pretty simple,heat the wok and oil,once the oil smokes add the miced /smashed garlic and then add the greens.I normally cover and cook it and I never add water or stock.

My personal fave greens are yau choi,Bak choi,water spinach.

BTW ,at my fave local wonton joint,i always have a side order of greens.I think they blanch it in the wonton stock and serve it with oyster sauce.

Edited by warlockdilemma (log)
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BTW ,at my fave local wonton joint,i always have a side order of greens.I think they blanch it in the wonton stock and serve it with oyster sauce.

Most of the wonton counters that I have seen have a big pot of boiling water and a smaller pot of broth on the side. I think they blanch the vegetables in boiling water, as they do with noodles. If you cook vegetables in the broth, it would introduce the "green" taste in the broth and I don't think that's desirable.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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BTW ,at my fave local wonton joint,i always have a side order of greens.I think they blanch it in the wonton stock and serve it with oyster sauce.

Most of the wonton counters that I have seen have a big pot of boiling water and a smaller pot of broth on the side. I think they blanch the vegetables in boiling water, as they do with noodles. If you cook vegetables in the broth, it would introduce the "green" taste in the broth and I don't think that's desirable.

I usually eat veggies either boiled or stir fried with garlic, but recently I've been eating spinach in sort of a quick soup, with stock, a couple straw mushrooms, a couple slices of carrot, some ground pork and some garlic. Tasty, and it goes very well with rice. You can have the soup afterwards. Sort of like two meals in one.

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BTW ,at my fave local wonton joint,i always have a side order of greens.I think they blanch it in the wonton stock and serve it with oyster sauce.

Most of the wonton counters that I have seen have a big pot of boiling water and a smaller pot of broth on the side. I think they blanch the vegetables in boiling water, as they do with noodles. If you cook vegetables in the broth, it would introduce the "green" taste in the broth and I don't think that's desirable.

Ah Leung Kuo, you are right.I think they blanch it and then add some hot oil over it.

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Well, I blanch watercress then pour sesame oil and soy sauce over it.

Everything else I stir-fry in garlic (with the exception of ong choy and amaranth and the like, which I stir-fry in fermented dofu). I heat up the wok pretty high first, though, which helps with the wok-hay flavor.

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I do green two way mainly.

Washing greens and dry well (I use a salad spinner).

Cast iron pan scorching hot. quickly toss the greens. then add garlic. I then add blk pepper and soy or go with oyster sauce. Come out pretty good.

I also toss in the stemmy parts first (about 30 seconds) then add the leafy parts. Help cook them evenly.

I get what every leaf green chinese veggies are on sale or look the freshest.

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Another way you can add flavour to a quick stir-fry veg...is to add 2 cubes of nam yue (fermented tofu cubes). But, if I do that, I use sliced small shallots instead of garlic so as not to overpower the nam yue taste. No need to add salt...the nam yue is salty enough.

TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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Another way you can add flavour to a quick stir-fry veg...is to add 2 cubes of nam yue (fermented tofu cubes). But, if I do that, I use sliced small shallots instead of garlic so as not to overpower the nam yue taste. No need to add salt...the nam yue is salty enough.

Hey! Tepee MuiMui: Good to see you. :biggrin:

I usually add fu yue to quick stir-fry spinach, or really young bak choi (from thining out rows in the garden). May have to try nam yue next time!

Got some peashoots, and I'll just stir-fry with garlic and drizzle sesame oil at the table.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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i also usually just stir fry greens with garlic and a pinch of salt. my mom will stir fry vegetables with some dried shrimp for some extra flavor. my aunt stir fries bok choy and other veggies with a small piece broken off of a ham boullion cube (let it dissolve when you add the touch of water to steam fry). it's really good... but really it's just he msg. no need to add salt if you do that. very very tasty.

water/swamp spinach (kong xin tsai) stir fried with fermented tofu is a classid dish.

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I like to add a dollop of oyster sauce when I saute (in canola oil) baby bok choy with garlic, and maybe a dash of shaoxing rice wine too. I usually blanch the bok choy in boiling water first to make it more tender. When I saute snow pea shoots or leaves I just use the garlic, oil and wine and I don't blanch them. Salt and pepper to taste of course.

Edited by jeanki (log)
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Indeed quite a few ingredients can be added to the Chinese green stir-fries.

1. They add flavor

2. They add a different texture

The basics are garlic and salt. (Though from all the dishes I had, I don't think I had tasted one with "black pepper" or "white pepper" as in "typical salt and pepper" in Chinese green stir-fries - except in those stir-fries specifically feature black pepper (beef/chicken/bell-pepper/onion). )

Depending on the vegetable... sometimes you can add shallots, onion, ginger and other "aromatic" to enhance the flavor (e.g. string beans). And even slices of chili peppers (e.g. Tung-choy)

The following ingredients can be added (in small amount typically) to make Chinese green stir-fries:

- dried shrimp (e.g. string beans, Chinese cabbage, mustard green)

- minced pork

- dried oyster (soak and chop in fine dices)

- lap cheung (Chinese sausages, chop in fine dices)

- lap yuk (Chinese cured bacon, chop in fine dices)

- yunnan ham (cut into small shreds)

- ham yu (Chinese salted fish, chop in fine dices)

The following sauces can be added:

- shrimp paste (e.g. tung-choy)

- foo yu (fermented bean curds, e.g. making tung-choy or bitter melon)

- nam yu (red fermented bean curds, e.g. making lotus roots, Chinese cabbage or winter melon)

- Sa Cha sauce (e.g. making string beans)

- oyster sauce (just about any Chinese vegetable)

- brown bean sauce (e.g. making string beans)

- dark soy sauce mixed with superior broth and corn starch

To cook a vegetable "feast" (a fancy word for "combination"), besides mixing vegetables you may add:

- mung bean threads (soaked in water first)

- reconstituted black mushrooms

- reconstituted Lily buds

- reconstituted "wood ear" fungi

- reconstituted "cloud ear" fungi

- reconstituted white fungi

- ginkgo nuts

- bamboo pith (soaked in water first)

The combination can be endless...

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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