Stir-Fried Choy Sum (Gunsho)


  1. Cut the choy sum into bite sized pieces, separating the thicker stems from the leafier parts, and wash it thoroughly. Bring a pot of water to a boil; when boiling, add the stem pieces of the choy sum. Stir, and boil for 2-3 minutes, or until the stems are getting tender.

  2. Add the leafier pieces, stir, and cook for another 45-60 seconds or until bright green. Drain the choy sum, run over it with cold water and drain again. Dry it out as much as you can, using a salad spinner or patting it dry with a towel.

  3. Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. When hot, add the choy sum. It may splatter if there is any remaining water in it (i.e. if you don’t have a salad spinner), so be careful. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes.

  4. Add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes, and cook for 30 seconds more, adding another splash of oil if needed. Finally, add the soy sauce and rice wine, and cook while stirring until excess liquid is evaporated. Season to taste with more salt, and serve immediately.


Choy sum, also known as choi sum / cai xin / Chinese flowering cabbage / gunsho, is a leafy green stir-fry vegetable that’s kind of like a cross between bok choy and rapini. In this simple stir-fry dish, the choy sum is briefly blanched before hitting the pan at high heat with an easy garlic sauce. The resulting dish is delicious and nutritious and would be at home as a side to any Asian-inspired meal.

  • 1 bunch choy sum (about 8 oz.)

  • 1 tsp neutral oil (I used peanut oil)

  • 1 clove garlic minced

  • 1 inch ginger minced

  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)

  • 1/2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

  • 1/2 tbsp rice wine or dry sherry (see notes)

  • sesame seeds (optional, for garnish)