Any Chinese greens will do for this, or indeed purple sprouting, spring greens or European broccoli, says chef Nigel Slater. "What matters is the freshness and vitality of the greens. Everything happens at once in this recipe. I get round this by getting the rice ready first, keeping it hot over boiling water, then preparing the garlic and ginger. It is better to let the hot oyster sauce mixture wait off the heat for a second or two than risk overcooking the greens."
steamed rice for two people
a small bunch of coriander
12 stems of choy sum, Chinese broccoli (Gai lan) or other greens
2 large juicy garlic cloves
a thumb-sized piece of ginger
a tablespoon of groundnut oil
6 tablespoons oyster sauce
Achieving the perfect results
When the rice is cooked, keep it warm in a covered colander over a pan of simmering water. Chop the coriander and fold it into the rice with a few grinds of black pepper. Put a pan of water on to boil for the greens.
Peel the garlic and slice the cloves thinly. Pare the ginger, then cut the flesh into matchstick thick shreds. Warm the oil in a medium sized saucepan, tip in the sliced garlic and shredded ginger and fry till soft and nut brown.
Cook the greens in plenty of furiously boiling, lightly salted water (the oyster sauce is quite salty so I tend to go easy on the salt). They will need about three to five minutes, depending on the thickness of their stalks.
Stir the oyster sauce into the browned ginger and garlic and leave to bubble briefly. Drain the greens and tip them immediately into the oyster sauce. Toss the vegetables around gently in the sauce and aromatics, then serve with the coriander rice.