Sunday, June 5, 2011

Recipe #65: Mustard greens with dried scallops (干貝芥菜)

Mustard greens have a mix of spiciness and bitterness. As such, I usually don't eat a lot of it. However, the large-sized Chinese mustard greens are the only variants that I will eat. Not only because there is a hint of sweetness in the bitterness, but also that the dried scallop improves its taste.

In Chinese folklore, mustard greens is often called the "vegetable of long life." As such, this dish is often served at Chinese New Year or formal gatherings. This is because the festive dishes are elegant, which the scallops add to. In restaurants, there is usually no scallops, so most Cantonese restaurants will offer mustard green.


1. 1 bunch mustard greens
2. Dried scallops, soaked in 1/2 c. water
3. 1/2 tsp. light color soy sauce, 1 Tbs water
4. salt to taste
5. 1 Tbsp. cooking oil
6. 2 tsp. cornstarch


1. Soak dried scallops in water.
2. When scallops are soft, rub them apart, keeping the water (with the aroma of scallops).
3. Slice mustard greens into large chunks, and boil them till tender and drain.
3. In a saucepan, add cooking oil. When it is hot enough, add mustard greens.
4. Quick stir, then add salt and sautee.
5. Trans vegetables to plate.
6. Mix light color soy sauce, water and cornstarch well.
7. Pour the water (with the scallop aroma) in fry pan, sprinkle a little salt, and add cornstarch mixture, and bring it to a boil. It should result in a thick gravy.
8. Pour scallop gravy on mustard greens, serve hot.


1. A brief boil is adequate; you don't want to cook it too much, or the tenderness will be gone. The color will also be worse.
2. The reason for the boil is to remove the bitterness, which makes the taste less palpitable; I recommend not against frying it.