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Oyster Sauce Vegetables in Garlic Oil

Oyster Sauce in Garlic Oil
Baby Bok Choy in Oyster Sauce and Garlic Oil 油菜

I’m currently making an effort to incorporate more greens into my diet and hence for the past few months, I’ve been cooking more vegetable dishes. A delicious plate of nicely cooked vegetables is so satisfying to have in a home cooked meal! The good thing about blanching vegetables is that they usually cook really quickly (if you cook too long, they lose their nutrients, colour and crunch) – just like this plate of oyster sauce vegetables where the baby bok choy have been blanched in boiling water for less than 30 seconds.

Garlic Oil and Oyster Sauce
Garlic Oil (front) and Oyster Sauce Mixture

I usually prepare the oyster sauce mixture and garlic oil in advance. Just before mealtime, I boil a pot of water and blanch the vegetables for a short moment (ranging from 30 seconds to 1 minute; depending on the choice of vegetables), assemble the vegetables on a plate and drizzle the oyster sauce mixture and garlic oil over the vegetables. It taste so much better when the vegetables are served immediately after cooking – they taste so crunchy and fresh.

When it comes to oyster sauce vegetables, it’s not just about slapping oyster sauce over the veggies; the sauce straight from the bottle is really thick and salty. The oyster sauce is usually diluted with some hot water and sugar is added to balance the saltiness.

(Serves 4)

(A) Garlic Oil
– 3 tbsp vegetable oil
– 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped

(B) Oyster Sauce Mixture
– 1 tbsp oyster sauce
– 1 tbsp hot water
– 1/2 tsp sugar

(C) Vegetables
– 400 grams of Asian greens, I use either
– baby boy choy (xiao bai cai, 小白菜) OR
– baby kailan (Chinese broccoli, 小芥兰)

You can also make 1 plate of each type of vegetables (200g each) to impress your diners as the sauce is enough for two plates of vegetables.


(A) Garlic Oil
1. Heat up vegetable oil in a wok. When the temperature is hot enough (add a tiny piece of chopped garlic into the oil to test – if it starts to sizzle gently, the oil is ready), add the chopped garlic and using a spatula, distribute the garlic evenly so that they are fully coated in the oil.
2) Let the garlic cook in the oil, and turn off the flame once the garlic starts to turn light* golden 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.

* Cooking Note: You need to turn off the flame once it turns light golden brown. If you turn off the flame when the garlic turned a “just right” golden brown, they will cook further in the hot oil and become burnt/dark brown.

(B) Oyster Sauce Mixture
1. In a small bowl, stir using a spoon, all the ingredients in (B) till well mixed.

(C) Vegetables – Baby Boy Choy
1. Heat a large pot of water with 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil added.
2. When the water is boiling, add baby boy choy and blanch for approximately 30 seconds. If this is your first time blanching vegetables, they may not look like they are cooked to you).
3. Optional: Trim the ends of the blanched baby boy choy and then cut them to approximately 3 sections lengthwise (see first photo) so that they are easier to eat. Assemble on a serving plate and drizzle (A) garlic oil and (B) oyster sauce mixture over the vegetables.

(C) Vegetables – Baby Kailan
4. If you’re using baby kailan instead, trim the ends of each baby kailan and separate them to individual leaves. Blanch the vegetables like in steps C2 above (if you like, you can add 1 tsp of sugar to the boiling water since kailan is slightly bitter). Note that kailan will take a slightly longer time than baby bok choy (around 1 to 1 1/2 minutes). Assemble the vegetables on a serving plate and drizzle (A) garlic oil and (B) oyster sauce mixture over the vegetables.

Leave a Comment

58 Responses to “Oyster Sauce Vegetables in Garlic Oil”

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  1. celine — January 6, 2010 @ 10:31 am

    yikes …. never knew that i had to dilute the oyster sauce. i just pour straight from the bottle and onto the blanced vege – maybe that’s why my kids hate it. they have been taking their blanced greens with parmesan cheese. will try your version tonight.


    • wiffy replied: — January 6th, 2010 @ 4:04 pm

      That’s the best test! Let me know how it goes!


  2. ladyhomechef — January 6, 2010 @ 11:00 am

    I like stir-fried vege the best!!


  3. Krissy @ The Food Addicts — January 6, 2010 @ 12:02 pm

    Thanks for the tip on adding some garlic oil to the oyster sauce! It’s a great way to zest up vegetables like bok choy, which I happen to have in the garden and it’s getting out of control. Need to harvest and eat!!


    • wiffy replied: — January 11th, 2010 @ 9:00 am

      I’m so jealous … you have vegetables fresh from the garden! as organic as it can get :-)


  4. Pepy @ Indonesia Eats — January 6, 2010 @ 12:25 pm

    I love oriental green leaves. Once a week, we shop to Asian markets to buy bok choy, gailan, bittermelon, yuey choy, or malabar spinach. I miss daun lembayung (the leaves of green long beans) that I used to have in Indonesia.


    • wiffy replied: — January 11th, 2010 @ 9:01 am

      I haven’t tried those daun lembayung before. I love asian greens too … can never have enough :)


  5. The Little Teochew — January 6, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

    Love how you plated the baby bok choy. Super appetising!!


  6. tigerfish — January 6, 2010 @ 6:19 pm

    I know it’s weird but I like blanched vegetables (kailan, bok choy, caixin) and can do without the garlic oil and oyster sauce. I’m too lazy.


    • wiffy replied: — January 11th, 2010 @ 9:02 am

      that’s good in a way! eating it blanched is the most healthy actually. But i really like the oyster sauce and most importantly … garlic oil! hehe


  7. Trissa — January 6, 2010 @ 7:42 pm

    You did a great job making the veggies look good – I especially love the sauces you used.


  8. peachkins — January 6, 2010 @ 8:59 pm

    I love the idea. I also do this to swamp cabbage but I top it with fried garlic instead of garlic oil…


    • wiffy replied: — January 11th, 2010 @ 9:04 am

      That sounds good! Fried shallots sound good, especially when it’s brown and crispy, like shallots.


  9. lisaiscooking — January 6, 2010 @ 10:21 pm

    These sauces sound great for bok choy! I like steaming baby bok choy but always want a sauce with it, and both of these sound delicious.


    • wiffy replied: — January 11th, 2010 @ 9:11 am

      Hope you try it one day, I think you’ll like it … this is a local favourite :)


  10. Bob — January 7, 2010 @ 1:20 am

    I need to eat more greens too, but I haven’t been as good about it as you clearly have. Looks great!


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