Stir-Fried Yu Choy Sum

Stir-Fried Yu Choy Sum

At this week’s farmer’s market, I couldn’t resist these beautiful yu choy sum. Also known as:

  • choi sum
  • pak choy
  • yau choy
  • yu choi sum
  • yow choy sum

I’m sure I missed a few of the other names that they go by as well. Since there’s a lot of different varieties of Asian greens and they all kinda look similar, it can get confusing. I get confused if it’s called by one of its many other names, but I can recognize it by sight.

Yu choy sum looks like gai lan (chinese broccoli) but skinnier. Of course, if you don’t know what gai lan looks like, then that doesn’t really help you. In which case, never mind, just look at the picture below.

Another member of the bok choy family, but so much more tender and sweeter than the larger bok choy, yu choy sum taste like a cross between broccoli and spinach. They can be used in stir-fries and soups. As usual, I prefer just a quick and simple stir-fry as part of a meal.

Stir-Fried Yu Choy Sum

Stir-fried Yu Choy Sum
Serves 2 as part of a meal

1 bunch yu choy sum
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced

Wash the yu choy sum in several changes of water, trimming off any old leaves, tough stems and the bottom 1/2″ from each stalk. Cut the stems into 3″ pieces, halving the bigger stalks lengthwise.

Heat a wok over high heat until hot. Add the oil and swirl to coat the wok. Add the garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds. Add the yu choy sum and stir. After about 30 seconds, it’ll start to wilt down. Stir bringing up the greens at the bottom to the top. Add salt to taste. Cook for 1 1/2 minutes or until the stems are tender. Serve immediately.


  1. says

    Oooooh, looks good! I don’t think I’ve ever seen that veggie, but I love all sorts of greens so I’ll keep an eye out.

  2. chow says

    Thanks Erin! You’ll probably find it at the Asian vegetables vendor at the farmer’s market or at the Asian supermarket. If you do find it, let me know what you think of it.

  3. chow says

    Thanks Lisa! I need to be a bit more adventurous myself, there’s so many interesting things at the farmer’s market that I have yet to try. :-)

  4. says

    Yeap, simple and nice and chunky :) I love this too.

    Sometimes, i just blanched them in boiling water. And then drizzle with olive oil or garlic oil and light soy sauce.

    It can be used to stir-fry noodle or add to soupy noodle.

  5. Someone says

    Just picked up some of this from the nearby Asian market – I never lived *so* conveniently close to one before and it’s now my favorite place to get veggies between farmer’s market days!

    I stir-fried it in peanut oil with a lashing of toasted sesame oil, garlic and fresh ginger, along with yellow bell pepper and green onions. Wonderful! But then, I love my greens. :)

  6. Aaron says

    Thanks for the info! Just got my first CSA box yesterday and this was the only thing I could not identify!! I finally googled “flowering green that looks like bok choy” and found this! My savior! I am gonna cook it up tonight with some sesame tofu.

  7. says

    I bought my first yu choy today at our farmers market. Thank you for this info on how to prepare it. I will try it tonight.


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