Choy Sum is one of my most favourite vegetable. It is great with noodles, in soups, and stir-fry as a dish in itself. This recipe is quite different in the way it is prepared. The choy sum is first blanced briefly in hot boiling water, refresh in cold water, then squeeze dry as much as possible. Chop them up finely and they are ready to be stir-fry.
Even the stir-fry method is a little different. The chopped choy sum are heated up in a dry wok, stir to release any water, add chopped chillies and a pinch of salt, and stir till the wok is no longer moist. The choy sum is then removed to a plate while the wok is heated up once more. Add some oil to the heated wok, saute the chopped ginger and garlic till fragrant. Stir in the choy sum, season to taste with some salt, stir till everything is hot and smells nice. Stir in the sesame oil, dish out and serve.
This method is very different from my regular way of cooking choy sum, which I stir-fry without any blanching or sauteeing the veggie to release it's moisture. I was afraid that the veggie would be overcooked with those extra steps above, but I find that the choy sum cooked this way is quite delicious. Great as part of a meal with rice, with some other main dish.
Stir-Fried Chopped Choy Sum
(adapted from Every Grain Of Rice by Fuchsia Dunlop)
1-1/2 tbsp cooking oil, plus more for blanching and for seasoning the wok
375gm choy sum
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh red chilli
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1-2 tbsp chilli oil (optional)
Bring a large panful of water to a boil. Add some salt, and a small dash of cooking oil. Add the choy sum and blanch for about 30 seconds to wilt the leaves. Refresh immediately under the cold tap and squeeze out as much water as possible. Chop the choy sum finely and evenly.
Heat a dry wok over a high flame. Add the chopped choy sum and stir it to release any excess water as steam. As the choy sum loses its water, add the chilli and a good pinch of salt. Continue to stir until the surface of the wok is no longer moist and the steam is rising more slowly, then remove the choy sum from the wok and set aside.
Use a thick wad of kitchen paper to rub the surface of the wok with cooking oil and heat over a high flame to re-season. Then pour in the 1-1/2 tbsp cooking oil, swirl it around, then add the ginger and garlic, and stir-fry briefly until you can smell their fragrance.
Add the choy sum and stir-fry to incorporate, seasoning with salt to taste. When everything is hot and smells wonderful, remove from the heat, stir in the sesame oil and the chilli oil, if using, and serve.
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