Wat Tan Gai Choy (Stir Fry Mustard Greens in Silky Egg Sauce) used to be a popular dish back when I was a kid. The inclusion of crab meat in the sauce made the dish special enough to be served at many 10-course Chinese wedding banquets. I remember looking forward to this tasty dish with its bright green mustard leaves contrasting beautifully with the silky egg sauce. Alas, the arrival of more fancy dishes made Wat Tan Gai Choy a dish rarely seen in today’s banquets.
Perhaps the erratic supply and high cost of crabs may be a factor. Thankfully, we now have imitation crabmeat. While it is not the same as crab meat itself, imitation crabmeat is a tasty substitute. It is also very convenient and I use it every now and then in my stir fries.
Like Wat Tan Hor (Cantonese Style Fried Noodles), the sauce for this dish can be cooked separately and poured onto the scalded vegetables. I prefer to return the pre-scalded vegetables to the wok to bring it up to heat as food tend to grow cold very quickly here, especially in the winter. Either way works. The choice is yours.
For those not familiar with gai choy (Chinese mustard greens), please click on this blue link for a brief description. You may also want to check out other ingredients using the Ingredients Menu on the red bar above.
- 1½ lbs (675g) Chinese mustard greens
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 oz (85g) lump crab meat or imitation crab meat
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp cornstarch mix with ½ tsp salt and ½ cup (120ml) water
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Wash and drain Chinese mustard greens thoroughly. Trim ½ inch off the end of the stalks. Cut the leaves into 2 or 3 bite size pieces, about 2 to 3 inches in length. Cut the stem pieces into half lengthwise. Stems and leaves should preferably be separated.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Scald stems for about a minute. Remove and drain with a metal strainer. Scald the leaves for a shorter period of time. Remove and drain as soon as they turn a bright green color. Press out as much water as possible from the vegetables.
- Heat a wok or large pan. When it is hot, add vegetable oil. Sauté garlic for 30 seconds. Add imitation crab meat and fry for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Now, add the scalded mustard greens and soy sauce. Stir fry for another 1 to 2 minutes.
- Pour in cornstarch mixture followed by lightly beaten egg. Stir for another 1 to 2 minutes. Corn starch mixture and egg will thicken. If it appears to be too dry, add just a little bit of water. Stir to combine. Turn off heat.
- Drizzle sesame oil over vegetables. Remove and serve immediately.