Easy Pork and Chinese Flowering Cabbage Stir-fry

Pork and Chinese flowering cabbage, (or choi sam, as we call it here,) stir-fry is one of the easiest and fastest dishes to prepare. You likely have most of the ingredients, but if you don’t, I think it will be easy to find what you need at the supermarket.

This may not be how every or any Chinese cook does it, but it’s the method I learned from my Chinese husband. More or less. Ha-ha! Feel free to play around with the recipe and let me know how it turned out for you!

You will need:

1 1-1/2 pound pork tenderloin, sliced in small bite-size pieces

canola or peanut oil for frying

For the marinade you will need:

Easy Pork and Chinese Flowering Cabbage Stir-fry

Missing: green onions, ginger, sugar.

a knob of ginger about the size of a golf ball, (I like ginger)

a handful of green onions, (which I didn’t use in this recipe, but they go very nicely)

2 Tbsp    dark soy sauce (it is not as salty as the light and it sticks to the meat)

1 Tbsp     light or dark sesame oil

1 Tbsp     oyster sauce

1 Tbsp     corn starch (corn flour)

1 Tbsp     white sugar

For the greens:

1/2-1 lb    Chinese flowering cabbage or baby bok choy

3                cloves of garlic, chopped roughly

Easy pork and Chinese flowering cabbage stir-fry

I wash my greens and put them in zip-lock bags. They keep for days this way.


Pork and Chinese Flowering Cabbage Stir-fry

Here are the directions.

The Pork

Cut away the silver skin on the pork tenderloin, as well as any other sinewy material.

Slice the meat into small bite-size pieces. Place into a glass, or other non-metal, bowl.

The Marinade

Put the ingredients for the marinade directly over the meat and then mix into the meat with a spoon, or your hands, if you wish. The Chinese like to feel their food while they’re preparing it. I usually use a spoon in this case.

Don’t panic because there isn’t a lot of liquid. You don’t need as much liquid to marinade as you think. A key point is that the marinade should be sticking to the meat. If it isn’t, add a bit more corn starch, not too much. It should look like the picture below.

Easy Pork and Chinese flowering cabbage stir-fry

Pork mixed with marinade

Set this aside. You can put it in the fridge or leave it on the counter while you prepare the vegetables.

The Vegetables

Easy Pork and Chinese Flowering Cabbage Stir-fry

Greens chopped and ready to be cooked.

We have to be very particular here about washing our greens. I’m sure the same applies everywhere. You don’t want to be sharpening your teeth on grit in your vegetables after all.  Add a dash of salt and give them a swish and let them soak for 20 minutes. Empty the dirty water and rinse again.

Now you’re ready to chop them up. I usually cut the ends off and then line them up and cut them across once or twice, depending on the size of the greens. This dish is best served with baby Chinese flowering cabbage because the pork and greens are going to be mixed together.

Ready to cook

Easy Pork and Chinese Flowering Cabbage Stir-fry

Browning the meat.

First of all, brown your marinaded pork in some oil in a frying pan. I use a flat-bottom pan because I use an induction heater. (If I had a gas cook-top, I could use a wok. Regardless, a flat-bottom pan works great.) Add a little bit more oil if it’s sticking too much. Stir-fry on high heat until the meat is dark brown.

Place the cooked meat in a clean bowl and set aside.

Now, add garlic to the pan and a bit more oil, depending on how much is left in the pan after cooking the pork.

Fry the garlic on medium heat for a minute.

Easy Pork and Chinese Flowering Cabbage Stir-fry

Set pork aside and cook the greens.

Add the greens to the pan. If it’s too much for your pan all at once, you can add half, let them cook down, and then add the rest.

Add  a couple of tablespoons of water or enough to create some steam, then cover the pan with a lid and let steam until almost cooked.

Finally, add the meat to the greens in the pan and stir-fry together.

At this point you can mix a half tablespoon of corn starch to a half a cup of water and mix well and add to the pork and greens, a little at a time. If it’s too thick, add water. If it’s too thin, add more a tiny bit more corn starch to the remaining water in your cup and add to the pan.

It’s not a science. You’ll figure it out.

And, can you believe, we were so hungry, I forgot to take a picture of my finished pork and Chinese flowering cabbage stir-fry???! Here’s what was left!

Easy Pork and Chinese Flowering Cabbage Stir-fry

The leftovers.

Hope you enjoy your pork and Chinese flowering cabbage stir-fry as much as we did! 


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