Smoky Napa Stir-Fry

Another light take on green vegetables. The oyster sauce, available in Asian grocery stores and well-stocked groceries, gives a smoky undernote to the dish. Try to find fresh young Napa cabbage for extra crispness.


  • About ¾ pound Napa cabbage
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 1 scant tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 dried red chiles
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste


Cut the cabbage crosswise into ¼-inch slices, then slice them crosswise to make bite-sized pieces (you should have 4 loosely packed cups). Place in a bowl of cold water to wash thoroughly, then lift out, drain, and set aside.

Pour the hot water into a small bowl, add the oyster sauce, and stir well. Set aside.

Place a medium or large wok or large deep skillet over high heat. Add the oil, then lower the heat to medium-high and stir in the turmeric. Add the chiles, shallot, and ginger and stir-fry for about 30 seconds, until the shallot starts to soften.

Raise the heat to high, toss in the chopped greens and salt, and stir-fry, tossing and pressing the greens against the hot sides of the pan. When they have wilted and softened, 2 to 3 minutes, add the oyster sauce mixture. Bring to a boil, turn and stir for another 15 seconds or so to distribute flavors and finish cooking the greens, and turn out into a wide shallow bowl.

Serve hot or at room temperature.