Easy and Flawless Yu Choy
Adapted from The Woks of Life: http://thewoksoflife.com/2016/01/yu-choy-recipe/
One of my absolute favorite things in the world is going out for dim sum with my family. When my parents, sisters, nieces, nephews, brothers-in-law, husband, and sons, and I are all together we are a happy and hungry table of 14. (Seriously? There are FOURTEEN of us?)
We point to what we want as the carts are traveling around with cute, little dumplings of shu mai (dumplings with a combination of shrimp and pork), har gow (shrimp dumplings), and my son, Will’s, favorite, siopau or cha siu bao (baked bbq pork roast buns). I sometimes feel like Michael Jackson in Martin Bashir’s “Living with Michael Jackson” interview when he was shopping in Las Vegas for artwork and furniture. MJ was pointing at everything he wanted. “I want these. I want this one. This one. This one. Can we get those? I like those! Why don’t we order those? Yeah, I like those!” (I looked up the actual scene on YouTube and these are his exact quotes. He was so talented and maybe a little misunderstood. Aren’t the great ones that go against the flow always “misunderstood”? Even though it’s been seven years, I STILL can’t believe MJ is gone.)
One of the things that I like to order that isn’t a dumpling is the yu choy, which is a Chinese leafy green with a broccoli-like stalk. It’s crowned with a dollop of oyster sauce (which sometimes isn’t made with actual oysters. More on that below). I like to think that by eating this delicious vegetable I’m cancelling out the eighth shu mai I’ve eaten. OK, eight might be an exaggeration. Six. All right, seven.
When The Woks of Life first posted this on their blog back in January, I was so excited. I didn’t care that the temperature was in the single digits that day. I walked to Chinatown during my lunch break and bought a package of yu choy, all excited to make it when I got home. The cold walk was worth it and it did not disappoint.
It’s called Easy Yu Choy because it actually is so incredibly easy to make. I renamed it Easy and Flawless Yu Choy because it’s perfect. It tastes just like what I would order at dim sum or any authentic Chinese restaurant in Chinatown. Plus, I’m in love with Beyoncé’s new album (and everything about her) and when I think “flawless” I think of Beyoncé (doesn’t everybody?). And now I also think of this delicious Yu Choy.
The seasoning ingredients are easy to find in any well-stocked grocery store – or my little piece of heaven, Trader Joe’s (well, minus the oyster sauce, at least). The ingredients are also available at any Asian grocery store and on-line. If you can’t find Yu Choy you can use broccoli or broccolini. Even though the yu choy is definitely a vegetable, this dish can’t be considered vegetarian because of the oyster sauce. But – and this is a good but (restraining from saying something juvenile here) – there are vegetarian oyster sauce options available. Mushrooms replace the oysters. I’ve tried it before and it tastes just like non-vegetarian oyster sauce.
Easy and Flawless Yu Choy is perfect on its own or accompanied with cauliflower fried rice (http://www.thetastypage.com/?s=cauliflower+fried+rice). It’s also perfect while listening to a mix tape that includes Michael Jackson and Beyoncé.