Five-spice Greens

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Keep it Simple

By Alastair Little and Richard Whittington

Published 1993

  • About

The precise type of greens is not important, though dark-green and slightly bitter leaves like pak choi or Brussels sprout tops are preferable to sweeter and lighter vegetables. Chinese cabbage is not suitable. Cantonese chefs would cook this dish in a wok, but I prefer to use a large and heavy frying pan.

This is also an excellent method for cooking spinach or broccoli.


  • 450g/1lb pak choi, Brussels sprout tops or any seasonal greens
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp five-spice powder
  • about 2tsp sesame oil
  • about 1 tbsp Kikkoman soy sauce
  • salt


    Mise en Place

    Destalk the greens and blanch in a large pan of fast-boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Refresh in cold water, drain in the colander and gently squeeze out excess moisture. Chill until ready to cook • Slice the garlic into very thin rounds.