A smooth, quick-to-prepare dish, Oyster Sauce Sang Choy consists of two very accessible ingredients – lettuce and oyster sauce. Add in a few cloves of garlic, and the recipe instantly comes alive with a light stir-fry. Tasty, crunchy, refreshing, Sang Choy is perhaps the best dish to get the carnivores in your life to chew up their veggies.
What is Oyster Sauce Sang Choy?
Pretty merely from the name, sang Choy, as it is called in the Cantonese community, means iceberg lettuce. Coupled with oyster sauce, it makes for a hearty dish on the dinner table. Often complemented with stronger dishes like Bak Kut Teh, stir-fried Sang Choy is light and juicy in comparison, making it an ideal pairing with almost any Chinese meal.
Auspicious meanings in Oyster Sauce Sang Choy
In Mandarin, Sang Choy translates to sheng cai, with sheng carrying a double meaning of ‘raw’ or ‘life’. ‘Life’ or ‘to live’ is a suitable term that is welcomed during the Lunar New Year.
Sheng also means ‘to grow’, and when paired with cai, which means wealth, the two words combine to mean ‘to grow wealth’ or ‘to prosper’, which can only serve to have auspicious connotations during the festive season. This also explains why Oyster Sauce Sang Choy is a must-have at every family’s reunion dinner!
Preparing Oyster Sauce Sang Choy
With so much adoration for the simple dish, the preparation is also a no-brainer, even those who lack the cookery skills of a professional housewife can’t get it wrong.
First, heat a pan with oil before adding chopped garlic for a quick fry. When the pan feels hot, it’s time to throw in the iceberg lettuce. Some families prefer to cut them beforehand, while others prefer to let it wilt and shrink in volume during the cooking process.
Whichever method, the cooking time is all the same – two minutes tops. Stir the lettuce so that it is covered evenly with oil all around. Since sang choy is cooked effortlessly. It is not advisable to leave it in the pan for too long as this will cause the vegetable to overcook and lose its crunchiness.
The final step is, of course, pouring the oyster sauce in the mix. The adequate amount of oyster sauce is crucial here as too little will add minimal flavour, while too much will give the dish too much saltiness.
Give the pan one last swirl until the sauce and lettuce combine, and the dish is ready for serving.
Variations of Oyster Sauce Sang Choy
Sang Choy is typically used in salads, which is why some may find it strange that it’s possible to stir-fry a ‘raw’ vegetable.
Well, the good news is, iceberg lettuce isn’t the only one to be cooked this way. For example, romaine lettuce is a good alternative as well. The method of stir-frying with oyster sauce is so popular and straightforward that you’ll find most vegetables – broccoli, asparagus, peas, and pak choi – all cooked the same way.
Vegans and vegetarians can sub out the oyster sauce with any vegetarian alternative. We believe shiitake mushroom sauce taste just as good. Quick and fuss-free, there’s no more natural recipe to whip up deliciously crunchy vegetables.
Nutritional Benefits of Oyster Sauce Sang Choy
Each serving contains roughly 90 calories, which is ideal for those looking to keep their daily calorie count low. Of course, to keep this dish as healthy as possible, be sure to minimise the oyster sauce and salt to a minimum to avoid increasing one’s sodium intake.
Where to Find Oyster Sauce Sang Choy in Malaysia
Oyster Sauce Sang Choy is exceptionally ordinary in Chinese restaurants, particularly the Cantonese outlets. Oyster Sauce Sang Choy can be found in Madam Kwan’s.
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