Rainbow Vegetables with Curry


Mild curry dishes with vegetables are popular in Hong Kong. The particular spices in curry add an exotic taste that is quite a change from the usual garlic and /or ginger seasonings most commonly used in Chinese cookery. This assortment of differently coloured vegetables (hence the name) is usually served at banquets. But there is no need to wait for a special occasion to enjoy such a vegetarian taste treat.


  • 225 g (8 oz) Chinese leaves (Peking cabbage)
  • 225 g (8 oz) Chinese greens, such as Chinese flowering cabbage or bok choy
  • 225 g (8 oz) carrots
  • 225 g (8 oz) asparagus

For the Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon groundnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 1½ tablespoons Madras curry paste
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) tinned coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoonShaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil


Cut the Chinese leaves into 4-cm (1½-in) strips. Then cut the Chinese greens into 4-cm (1½-in) pieces. Peel and cut the carrots into 4-cm (1½-in) x 5-mm (1½-in) segments. Cut the asparagus into 4-cm (1½-in) pieces.

In a large pan of boiling salted water, blanch the leaves for about 5 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain thoroughly. Then blanch the Chinese greens for 3 minutes in the same water. Remove and drain. Now blanch the carrots for 5 minutes and the asparagus for 3 minutes. Remove and drain thoroughly. Arrange the blanched vegetables on a warm serving platter.

Heat a wok or large frying-pan over a high heat until it is hot. Add the oil and, when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the shallots and stir-fry for 1 minute. Then add the curry paste and coconut milk. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the sugar, salt and Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry. Stir to mix well. Finally, add the sesame oil. Pour the sauce over the platter of vegetables and serve at once.