How-To: Chinese Greens with Garlic Oil and Oyster Sauce (油菜)

Have you ever wondered how those hawker centers, coffee shops (煮炒摊 – “Zhu Chao Tan”) and Chinese restaurants always served us with crunchy and yet tasty Chinese Greens with garlic oil and oyster sauce? I used to think that all I have to do was just drizzle some oil and oyster sauce over the cooked veggies. How wrong I was!!!

Now that I have learnt from my mistakes from those who have “perfected” this dish, I am sharing with you some techniques and the recipe on how to cook this dish so that it is crunchy and fresh. I love this dish as you can use any green leafy that suits your family’s taste buds. The commonly used vegetables are choy sum, kai lan, baby bak choy or lettuce.

This dish can be served alongside Chinese roast meat (Siu Yok/Char Siu) or Clay Pot Chicken Rice as mentioned in some of my earlier posts or any other dishes of your choice.

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Serves 4


300g to 400g of green leafy vegetables.

A pot of water

½ tablespoon of oil

Garlic Oil:

3 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons oil

Oyster Sauce:

1 tablespoon of oyster sauce

1/2 tablespoon of light soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons of water

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon sugar

2 dashes of white pepper powder

Sprinkles of sesame oil (optional)


Preparation for Garlic Oil:

  1. Chop garlic.
  2. Heat frying pan with oil and add chopped garlic and stir fry until it turns light brown.
  3. Pour the garlic and oil in a small bowl. The garlic will continue to cook for a little longer in the bowl of hot oil until it turns a lovely golden brown.

Preparation for Vegetables:

  1. Heat up a pot of water and bring it to boil.
  2. Add two small drops of cooking oil into the water.
  3. Add your vegetables into the boiling water and quickly blanch them for about 30 seconds or till they turn slightly wilted.
  4. Transfer them out and drain off the excess water from the vegetables.
  5. Arrange the vegetables on a plate.

Preparation of the oyster sauce:

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan and then add all the ingredients.
  2. Stir to combine all the ingredients well.
  3. As soon as the sauce heats up, remove from heat and drench the sauce over the blanched vegetables.
  4. Top the vegetables with the garlic oil and serve immediately.

Mummy's Kitchen

Hi! My name is Josephine Go. I blog at in a segment called Mummy’s Kitchen. I love to use fresh and natural ingredients in my cooking to promote healthy eating. Some of my recipes may not be in line with the traditional methods of cooking to the extent that some of the ingredients are different, but hopefully new recipes are being created in my style. I certainly hope that what I do will help guide kitchen first-timers on how to cook their first meal as well as further equip kitchen veterans with new recipes. My loving husband and two wonderful children are my best guinea pigs and critics. They have enjoyed (or endured) the food that has been served to them for all these years. Mind you, I did not know how to cook or ever knew that I could cook till I got married. So there is hope for everyone. If I can cook, you can cook. You will not know how good or talented you are until you put your hand in the plough.

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