Wok-Fried Chinese Greens & Shiitake Mushrooms with Sake

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Preparation info

  • For

    Six

    Portions to Accompany a Meal
    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

The Sugar Club Cookbook

By Peter Gordon

Published 1997

  • About

This vegetable dish goes well with so many main courses, such as the pork belly, barbecued fish, roast chicken or braised duck. For the Chinese greens see what’s available in your local Chinatown or Asian supermarket; otherwise use a mix of finely sliced cabbage, chard, celery and courgettes. I tend to use pak choy, bok choy and choy sum, but I will try anything else that’s fresh and green. You can use either fresh shiitake mushrooms, which are now easier to find, or the dried variety from Asian supermarkets. Soak dried mushrooms overnight in cold water; next day remove the woody stem and slice the caps finely, discarding the stems. Save the soaking liquid and add some to the wok as you finish cooking the greens. The sake adds a sweet touch to the vegetables, but sweet sherry can be used instead.

Ingredients

  • 1.5kg (lb) mixed Chinese greens
  • 10ml (fl oz) Asian fish sauce
  • 20ml (¾fl oz) tamari
  • 30ml (1fl oz) sake
  • 30ml (1fl oz) water
  • Sesame oil
  • 18 fresh shiitake mushrooms, cut into quarters

Method

Take the greens and discard damaged or discoloured leaves. Remove 1cm (⅓in) from the bases and cut the leaves into 10cm (4in) strips, cutting the thicker stems in half lengthways. Wash well and drain. It’s important when frying the greens that there is a little water clinging to them, so don’t pat them dry. Mix the fish sauce, tamari, sake and water together and keep close by.

Heat up a wok and, when it’s smoking, add a few spoonfuls of sesame oil and swirl it around. Add a quarter of the greens and toss gently. Keep on a high heat and fry for 1 minute, tossing occasionally. Add one-fifth of the sake mix and fry for another 30 seconds, then tip the greens into a large bowl. Cook the rest of the greens in the same way.

Finally, heat up the wok again and add sesame oil, then put in the shiitake mushrooms and stir well over a high heat for 30 seconds. Add the last of the sake mix and cook until it is almost evaporated. Add the mushrooms to the greens, mix well and eat at once.