This simple blanched Yu Choy or Choy Sum (菜心, Cài xīn) with garlic sauce is one of the many ways my family loves to enjoy this vegetable.
Have you tried Yu Choy before? I love to call them Choy Sum (Cantonese) which translates to ‘veggie heart’. I always get a bunch of Yu Choy when I see them a the store. It’s my favorite veggie to add to soups, stir-fries, or turn it into a dish by itself.
You may have seen a similar dish like this at Dim Sum restaurants which is normally made with Chinese broccoli or Gai Lan. Yu Choy is a dark leafy vegetable that you commonly see in Chinese cuisines. Today, you’ll see how to use a simple method to cook this vegetable at home – blanch, then slather with a delicious sauce!
I’m using baby Yu Choy in today’s recipe which is usually more tender and takes less time to cook.
How to cook Yu Choy (Choy Sum)
If you are using baby Yu Choy like me, you don’t need to tear it into smaller leaves. However, if you are using normal YuChoy, it’s a good idea to separate the leaf and its stem before cutting them into smaller parts.
Heat up a large then sauté garlic or ginger and chili (if using) in oil until fragrant. Then, add in the store-bought or homemade vegan ‘oyster’ sauce and water. Cook for a few seconds until it starts to thicken. If you are using soy sauce or other sauces that do not contain starch, you may add a cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce.
Then, fill a wok or tall pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add a drizzle of oil and season the water with a pinch of salt.
When the water comes to a boil, slowly add in the Yuchoy and blanch until the stem turns darker green. (Note: if you are not using baby YuChoy, I would add in the stems first, then the leaves) Dish out and shake off excess water.
Drizzle the sauce on the blanched YuChoy and serve warm. Isn’t it super easy and quick?
Check out other ways to create a delicious vegetable dish:
Why you need this simple Yu Choy (Choy Sum) Recipe
- It’s simple and easy to make.
- Easily customizable – for allium free, please replace garlic with ginger slices.
- Yes, it works with baby bok choy, Chinese broccoli (Gai Lan), or iceberg lettuce.
- Healthy and delicious.
- It’s a perfect way to add more greens to a meal.
If you try this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback and see your beautiful re-creation. Leave me a comment, rate it, and tag @woon.heng and #woonheng to your photos on Instagram or Facebook. Happy cooking, friends!
Yu Choy in Garlic Sauce – 油菜心
- 1 lb baby YuChoy Choy Sum
- 2 Thai Chilis sliced
- oil for cooking
- a pinch of salt for water
- 3 cloves of garlic or slices of ginger
- 1 tablespoon of vegan ‘oyster’ sauce
- ¼ cup of water
- Clean YuChoy with water to remove dirt.
- Fill a tall pot or wok with water. Add in a drizzle of oil and a pinch of salt, then bring the water to a rolling boil.
- Blanch YuChoy until the stems turn darker color. Dish out and shake off excess water.
- Place YuChoy on a plate and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick pan, then add in about 1 tablespoon oil and sauté garlic until fragrant.
- Add in the chili and vegan 'oyster' sauce along with the water. Stir to combine and remove from heat.
- Slather the YuChoy with the sauce and serve warm.