Stir-Fried Bok Choy

Stir-Fried Bok Choy is a very common dish in Chinese family. In fact, you can stir-fried any green leaves vegetables simply with ginger and garlic and seasoned with salt or oyster sauce.


In the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors, Charlene selected Stir-Fried Bok Choy as one of the Chinese theme dishes. Charlene wanted to introduced various bok choy to members who are not familiar with such vegetables.


  • 2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 12 baby bok choy, whole (trimmed)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


From right to left, Shanghai bok choy, milk bok choy, baby bok choy. When choosing baby bok choy, get the smallest ones you can find, ideally smaller than 3 inches. If they’re larger, cut them in half lengthwise.

Source: adapted from Vicki Fan

Prep time: 10 minutes;  Cook time: 5 minutes;  Serve 4

Frank, Marcel and Sydney made this dish.


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Green Beans and Potatoes in Chunky Tomato Sauce

For the side dish, Paul and Frances made Green Beans and Potatoes in Chunky Tomato Sauce. For this recipe, we used canned whole tomatoes. If you prefer fresh tomatoes, this is how to peel the skin easily. Make a small X on the bottom side of the tomato with a sharp knife. Place tomato in boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove tomato using a slotted spoon; immediately submerge in a bowl of icy cold water. Let stand for one minute. Skin should pull off easily with a sharp knife.


The green beans are cooked perfectly and they are tender and yet still crisp.


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups diced red potato
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro or 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 3/4 pound plum tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped (or drain and chop 1 1/2 cups canned whole tomatoes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper


This Green Beans and Potatoes in Chunky Tomato Sauce is adapted from Cooking Light, and it serves 8.


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Stir Fry Bok Choy

Blanca requested to learn Chinese way of cooking bok choy.  It is such a simple dish that we find there is nothing to show at all.  However Fanny, Alice and Garrie were able to demonstrate this simple stir fry along with the Yangchow Fried Rice and serve the Bok Choy as a side dish.


Alice had earlier reserved some of the shrimp, BBQ pork and corn mixture used for the Yangchow Fried Rice for this Stir Fry Bok Choy — just to give this a different twist as compared to just plain stir fry bok choy.


  • 1 pound bok choy, washed, slice thinly, separate the stems from the leaves
  • shrimp, BBQ pork, corn mixture (refer Yangchow Fried Rice post)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt to taste


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Chard with Chickpeas and Olives

Mary and June teamed up to make this side dish in the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors.  The Chard with Chickpeas and Olives tastes wonderful stuffed into a pita, or served on top of brown rice for a quick vegetarian lunch.


This versatile Chard with Chickpeas and Olives side dish tastes best served hot or at room temperature.  The chickpeas lend sweetness and textures to this dish.


Chard has shiny green ribbed leaves, with red stems. It has a slightly bitter taste. Fresh young chard can be used raw in salad.  Mature chard leaves and stalks are typically used in soup like this Italian Wedding Soup or sauteed which reduces the bitter taste.


  • 1 large bunch Swiss chard, or two small bunches
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup water or broth
  • 10 marinated green olives, quartered
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • generous sprinkle of black pepper



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Samosa Style Potatoes and Peas

Christina and Stella prepared this side dish for the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors. Stella helped out Christina as one of the senior (Lorna) did not turn up the last minute as she was still recovering from her eye surgery. We wished Lorna to have a speedy recovery.


The Samosa style Potatoes and Peas is flavoured with spices like turmeric, mango powder, cumin seeds and chili powder. The peas add sweetness to this dish. This recipe is from Satta Lal.


  • 1 lb russet potatoes (about 3 medium), wash and cut into quarters
  • 1 cup frozen peas, rinsed under running water
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon amchur (mango powder)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • salt to taste


Here is an excerpt from ‘The Spice of Life’ on ginger shared by Stella:

Ginger is native of China and India, the creeping stems of this perennial plant have been used in Chinese medicines for many countries.  Ginger has been used in a wide variety of different products including pickles, chutneys, curries, and, of course, ginger ale.

Ginger is believed to be effective in relieving symptoms of nausea and inflammation.  Preliminary studies at the American Association of Cancer Research have shown that gingerol, an active ingredient in ginger, may halt the growth of colon cancer, and it is effective in promoting positive eicosanoids and killing yeast and microbes.


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Okra Sabzi

One of the side dish prepared by the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors for the Indian feast is Okra Sabzi. Okra is also known as lady finger. This recipe is adapted from Satta Lal. Mary and June partnered to make this dish.


Okra tastes freshest and most tender when it is small. When buying okra, be sure to choose pods that are no longer than 4 inches. bright green, and firm.

Okra is mucilaginous, i.e. it’s gooey when the seed pods are cooked. To avoid the goo effect, okra pods are often stir fried to cooked away the moisture or paired with slightly acidic ingredients, such as citrus or tomatoes.


  • 4 cups okra
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 green chili pepper or jalapeno pepper, chopped (add according to your taste – 1/2 chili with no seeds, provides a medium heat)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Here is an excerpt from ‘The Spice of Life’ on turmeric shared by Stella:

Turmeric, with its yellow pigment curcumin, is the underground stem of a tropical perennial that grows in many hot Asian countries.  The stem is a light brown colour on the outside but, when ground, produces a bright yellow powder.  Being very cheap and colourful, it has been heaped into curries for thousands of year – with very interesting results.  For a long time, it had been noted that people in India had relatively low rates of cancer of the oesophagus.  In laboratory tests, cucuminoids have been shown to kill melanoma cells.

Evidence from Swansea University now suggests that turmeric may be effectivee at blocking NF-kappaB, a protein linked with several cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.


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Asparagus, Peas and Basil

Christina and June made this very simple and sweet Aparagaus, Peas and Basil Stir-fry.

Asparagus is native to most of Europe, northern Africa and western Asia. Asparagus is low in calories, contains no fat or cholesterol and is very low in sodium. It is a good source of folic acid. Folic acid is essential for women who wants to get pregnant and pregnant women. Asparagus also contains potassium, copper, iron and phosphor. It is rich ion insoluble dietary fiber and vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C.

Asparagus contains a sour agent, which noticeably renders the urine potent when digested. It also contains asparagine, an acid agent responsible for its particular flavour and diuretic property. You should avoid eating asparagus when you have kidney inflammation.


This Asparagus, Peas and Basil stir-fry is adabped from Ursula Ferrigno and it serves 6. The sweetness of the peas and basil complements the flavour of asparagus in this lovely side dish.

Choose asparagus with firm brittle stalk and compact tip of bright color without rust spots. Select the same size of asparagus as they will cook evenly. Asparagus is quite fragile. You can keep it in the refrigerator, wrapped in a wet cloth placed in a perforated plastic bag for a maximum of one week. Blanched asparagus can be stored for about five months in the freezer.


  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots (about 2)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 lbs. asparagus
  • 3/4 lb. shelled fresh peas (2 1/2 cups; 1 3/4 lb. in pods) or 1 10 oz package thawed frozen peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • handful of torn basil leaves (about 3/4 cup)



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Garlic Long Beans

Christina and Minoo made this Garlic Long Bean dish for the South Arm Cooking Club for seniors’ Chinese New Year celebration. This is a very simple dish and believe it or not, some of the members have not eaten long beans before.


Long bean has a firmer texture than green beans. It also has a nutty flavour. In Malaysia, we like to use long beans in curry and omelette. For the omelette recipe, beat 4 eggs with 1/4 teaspoon salt (or 1 teaspoon soy sauce) and set aside. Finely chop the long beans like you chop the green onions. Fry the long beans until lightly brown and transfer to a plate. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and wait until it shimmers. Add the eggs all at once, stirring the edges towards the center of the pan. Once the eggs are half-set, add the beans back to the pan and cook for one more minute or until the omelette is cooked but still moist.


  • 1 pound long beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed with the flat side of knife and minced
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar (rice vinegar, cider or white wine vinegar are all fine)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup water or chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes



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