08 Nov2009


You need to be a bitter green fan to enjoy this dish. Or at least enjoy strongly flavored greens. We served this braised gai choy with some leftover lechon, presumably to help temper the evils of cholesterol overload, and it worked flavorwise. But I can see how this would also be a rather tasty vegetarian dish on its own.


First soak/wash the mustard cabbage leaves thoroughly. You need to separate them before washing so that any residual sand/soil is easier to remove. Then cut out the tougher central stem/rib that is almost as crisp as celery. Next chop these up into 1/2 inch pieces and set these aside. Next, chop up the leaves and place them in a separate bowl.


Chop up several cloves of garlic. Prepare 1/2 – 1 cup of chicken stock (use vegetable stock if you want this to be a vegetarian dish), some kikkoman soy sauce, pepper, salt and olive oil.


Heat up a large wok, add some olive or vegetable oil, the garlic and saute for a few seconds over medium high heat. Next add the sliced stems of the gai choy and saute for about 1 minute or so. Add 1/2 cup of chicken stock and let the stems braise over medium high heat until slightly softened, say 5 minutes for young gai choy, longer for older and larger gai choy. Add some water if the liquid seems to be evaporating too quickly.


Next add the chopped leaves and stir well. Ad a tablespoon or two of kikkoman soy sauce. Add a bit more broth if necessary and braise for say another 5 or so minutes until the stems are relatively soft and the greens are cooked as well. Add some freshly ground black pepper.


Serve hot. It is a bit bitter and garlicky. Some folks would love this dish, others would probably dislike it just as intensely. :)



  1. zena says:

    Interesting. I guess if one likes ampalaya, one could easily like this dish.

    Nov 8, 2009 | 6:48 am


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  3. eej says:

    This dish is healthy & delicious. I also use this greens to go with my “monggo”.

    Nov 8, 2009 | 7:22 am

  4. Cynthia says:

    I’ve never heard of mustard cabbage but I’ll probably like it. Does it taste like broccoli rabe (rapini)?

    Nov 8, 2009 | 11:18 am

  5. mary grace says:

    i like this veggie in egg sarciado and sinigang na bangus or hipon sa miso.

    Nov 8, 2009 | 11:35 am

  6. Marketman says:

    Mary Grace, this would be a flavorful addition to sinigang. Cynthia, yes, some compare it to broccoli rabe, but this is more horseradishy… and it isn’t as dark green which for me alters my perception of what it should taste like… :) If you like broccoli rabe, which I love, you would probably like this. eej, in monggo, hmmm, a nice twist I think. zena, yes, if you are an amapalaya fan, you would probably like this dish.

    Nov 8, 2009 | 11:36 am

  7. Hatari says:

    After giving us virtual hypertension with several piggy posts, you assuage us with a vegetable post…now we are once again in virtual equlibrium.

    Now hit me with the pork again, baby!

    I do like these mustard greens and wish they were more available, more often.

    Nov 8, 2009 | 1:18 pm

  8. RobKSA says:

    I have not seen or tasted this vegie either. I will check if it is available here, sounds like a nice vegie coz I like ampalaya as well.

    Nov 8, 2009 | 1:37 pm

  9. el_jefe says:

    MM pwede din po kaya itong buruhin? tulad nang tipikal na mustasang tagalog?

    Nov 8, 2009 | 2:26 pm

  10. Grace says:

    My husband and I love gai choy! I have used it in sinigang and munggo and have even added it to pancit canton. I have even tried it blanched with a dipping sauce of bagoong and lemon, paired with crispy fried fish and freshly steamed rice! It gives an interesting and flavorful twist to dishes… I just love that hint of bitterness and that bit of crunch from the stalk.

    Nov 8, 2009 | 3:35 pm

  11. atbnorge says:

    I love simple dishes like this served piping hot on a hot plate.

    Nov 9, 2009 | 1:07 am

  12. Mila says:

    I’ve been exploring my new neighborhood markets and haven’t found a lot of good vegetables, the baby bok chois are a wee bit sad looking. The only healthy specimens are the cauliflower. Not sure if it’s a seasonal thing but no ampalayas in the market.
    While I am not a big ampalaya fan, I like the bitter greens like mustard leaves, rabe. The peppery taste is great sauteed with tons of garlic and a dash of patis or stewed together with meats.

    Nov 9, 2009 | 9:38 am

  13. cumin says:

    Mila, whereabouts are you in China? I lived in Beijing (Chaoyang district) for several months earlier this year, and the open market in my neighbourhood was fabulous, never saw this many varieties of veggies and incredibly fresh, too. Ampalaya was common, the variety MM featured a few weeks ago that I think he called Japanese variety (?).

    Nov 9, 2009 | 2:29 pm

  14. joey says:

    Not a big ampalaya fan but definitely a big mustard greens fan! We don’t do sinigang without it :) I have tried this variety once and liked it too…must try this preparation as well soon…

    Nov 9, 2009 | 5:30 pm

  15. thea says:

    hi marketman! this is good! :D i parboil mine in boiling water for about a minute to take away the bitterness, and then plunge it in cold water. saute garlic, onions and ginger, add soy sauce, mirin, and black pepper, add the greens and braise for about 5 mins. not bitter at all! :D

    Nov 10, 2009 | 4:09 am

  16. lesley says:

    this vegetable is a staple in our household. we eat this at least once a week! :)
    it’s one of my “go-to” veggie meals for those lazy-to-cook weekdays.
    it’s almost always available in shopwise libis.
    i also use/add this when we’re having sinigang sa miso.

    i think (though not sure) by not stirring it too much / too often while in the wok, it would minimize the bitter taste.

    we cook ours quite simply.

    heat oil.
    add chopped garlic.
    add salt.
    add stem parts.
    add water. (stems don’t have to be fully submerged. i use about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup water only. wait until stems change color. white part changes to bright green.)
    (do not mix too much. just make sure the stems touch the water.)
    add leafy parts.
    season with patis.
    serve and eat! :D

    sometimes i add dried hipon after the garlic to replace the salt for variety.

    Nov 12, 2009 | 7:37 pm


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