yu choy with garlic sauce

Yu choy (also known as choy sum), is a leafy green vegetable used often in Chinese cuisine. It’s high in calcium, iron, and vitamins A & B!

At Chinese restaurants, you’ll typically see yu choy on the menu as an alternative to gailan, and they’re most commonly served blanched with oyster sauce drizzled on top.

Gailan has thicker stems, firmer texture, and just a hint of bitterness, while yu choy is skinnier, typically a bit sweeter, and retains a refreshing light crunch when cooked well.

Did you know that steaming vegetables is one of the best ways to retain the nutrients during cooking? I like to save some of the steaming liquid to make the garlic sauce to retain even more of its nutrients.

Instead of the usual oyster sauce dressing you’d get at restaurants (or even make at home), I wanted to do a different — but still super easy — take on yu choy by making a quick garlic sauce. I hope you like it!

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yu choy with garlic sauce

Yu Choy with Garlic Sauce

A fresh, classic Chinese vegetable that's made even more delicious with a savory garlic sauce.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4


  • 15-18 stems yu choy (aka choy sum)

Garlic Sauce

  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil avocado, vegetable, canola
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce or vegetarian oyster sauce
  • 1/16 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup veggie steaming liquid


  • Wash the yu choy thoroughly to remove any dirt. I do this by swishing them around in a large bowl of water then rinsing in a colander. Remove any yellow or old leaves.
    15-18 stems yu choy
  • Steam the yu choy for 2-3 min. 2 min for stems that are smaller than 1 cm in diameter, and 3 min (or more) for thicker stems. They should still be a just a little crunchy. Save at least ¼ cup of the steaming liquid.
  • Mince the garlic.
    3-4 cloves garlic
  • Heat up a pan to medium heat and add neutral oil. Once warm, add minced garlic and stir fry for about 1-2 mins, or until fragrant.
    1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • Add soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar. Mix well, then add ¼ cup of the reserved steaming liquid.
    1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon oyster sauce, ¼ cup veggie steaming liquid, 1/16 teaspoon sugar
  • Cook for another 1-2 min, then pour the sauce over your steamed yu choy. Optionally, you can use scissors to cut the yu choy into 3 pieces to make it easier to eat. Enjoy!
Keyword choy sum, gailan, yu choy
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  1. I actually made the sauce in the microwave heating the garlic and oil, ran an errand letting the garlic steep in the heated oil ... added everything else, zapped it a little more then added a tiny slurry of cornstarch thickening it and very briefly zapping it in microwave at 50%. Perfect!

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