Haoyou Sigua

Silk Squash With Oyster Sauce

Subtle flavours, delicate textures, the freshest ingredients, and just the right amount of the most appropriate seasonings, these are the virtues of classic southern Chinese cooking. The squash is so named because of its soft, spongy flesh which is markedly sweeter the younger the squash. It tastes like a cross between an aubergine and a cucumber. Aubergine can be used if you are unable to find silk squash. This recipe comes from the Qing Hui Yuan restaurant in Shunde, Canton, where silk squash was cut into larger pieces than I’d seen in the same dish elsewhere. The chef believes that the larger slices hold the flavour of the sauce better.


  • 700 g/ lb silk squash or courgettes
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 125 ml/4 fl oz chicken stock


Peel away the tough outer skin of the silk squash and cut the flesh in half lengthways, then into 5-cm/2-in pieces.

Heat a wok or large frying pan until hot and add the oil. Put in the shallots, garlic, and silk squash and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the oyster sauce and chicken stock and simmer uncovered until tender, about 5 minutes. Serve at once.