Chinese Stir-Fried Choi Sum with Brown Sauce

20140412-1251-Choi Sum with Brown Sauce-00002

As a little girl, I always dreaded dinner when my parents made stir-fried Chinese vegetables (except for kong shin tsai which is the bomb).  They’re so bitter.  What kid wants to eat bitter greens.  Who cares how good they are for you?!  Well, I now know that with the right brown sauce, Chinese vegetables can taste great!  So what’s the secret brown sauce recipe?  Well look no further (okay, you do have to look below).  After a long road of experimentation, we finally got our brown sauce to taste just right and happy with our final results.  It works with most any bitter Chinese leafy green.  We like it best with bok choy.


  • 3 lbs choi sum or bok choi or gailan, chopped in 1 to 2 inch sections
  • 3 T + 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1 t garlic, chopped

Brown Sauce:

  • 1/2 c concentrated veggie broth (1/2 Knorr Vegetairan Bouillon dissolved in 1/2 cup of water OR 4 tsp mushroom powder dissolved in 1/2 c of water)
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 2 T vegetarian oyster sauce
  • ½ T sesame oil
  • 1 t sugar
  • ½ t MSG (optional – substitute salt if you aren’t going to use MSG)
  • 2 t corn starch


Combine the Brown Sauce ingredients in a medium sized bowl.

Heat 3 T of cooking oil in a wok on high heat.  Add the chopped vegetables, and stir-fry until wilted.  Turn off the heat.  Drain the vegetable juice out of the wok and discard.  Set the vegetables aside in a serving container.

Heat 1 T of cooking oil in the wok on medium high heat.  Add the chopped garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds.  Mix the Brown Sauce very well so that no corn starch is deposited on the sides or bottom of the container.  Pour the mixed sauce into the wok.  Cook for 1 minute or until the sauce has thickened. Pour over the vegetables. Serve.

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