Choy Sum with Oyster sauce, garlic and peanuts


This Asian-style side dish is courtesy of my friend Caroline –  fellow foodie; coffee buddy, and all round ‘obstinate, headstrong girl’. She’s one of about 3 people on the planet who gets it when I quote Jane Austen, and who can quote back.

It’s not her own recipe, but one of Ottolenghi’s that she got from a newspaper. I had it, all by itself for lunch today… Thanks CP!


This recipe has peanuts as an ingredient.

Our house is a nut-free zone, simply because we have a family member with a nut allergy.

However I knew just by reading this recipe that it would need a crunch element, so I checked out my cupboards and roasted a tin of haricot beans. It was surprisingly successful – sadly they don’t taste of peanuts, but after 15 minutes in a hot oven they were nicely crunchy and savoury. The recipe for them is at the bottom of this page, but if roasted peanuts are safe for you, I think you should use them!


  • Large frying pan or wok
  • saucepan with steamer basket
  • warmed serving plate


  • 3 tablespoons of oil (I used sunflower)
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced


  • 3cm piece ginger in julienne strips


  • 3 thinly pared strips of orange peel (no white pith!), cut into julienne strips – use a vegetable peeler or zester. I used the peel of half an orange.


  • 20g unsalted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped


  • 400g Choy Sum, separated and washed. Stalks cut into  5cm pieces, leaves left whole. P1220127
  • 1 dessert spoon of oyster sauce
  • 2tblsp light soy sauce (I used reduced salt soy sauce) mixed together.



  • Put the serving plate into a warming oven
  • Put the prepared Choy Sum into a steamer basket – put the stalks at the bottom, and the leaves on top then set aside.


  • Fry garlic, orange skin, ginger and nuts in hot oil for 2-3 mins, until the garlic slices go a light golden colour, then move the whole lot, including the oil, to a small bowl





  • Add boiling water to the saucepan and steam the choy sum for 90 secs, turn the leaves over a few times, then remove to a serving dish


  • Put the frying pan back onto a high heat,
  • Pour the sauces into the pan and heat through for 10-15 secs. They’ll bubble up immediately when they hit the hot pan.
  • Pour  the sauce over the leaves, then sprinkle the ginger/garlic mixture over the top.


  • serve at once.


  • You’ll find Choy Sum beside the Pak Choy in the supermarket. It comes in 200g packs.
  • Don’t add any salt – you won’t need it.
  • This would be a great side dish with any Asian main course, but it’s really tasty by itself too


  • Drain a 400g tin of haricot beans
  • Rinse really well under running water then dry on kitchen paper
  • Put a tablespoon of rapeseed oil to a small, sealable freezer bag.

P1220138 (2)

  • Add the beans and shake to coat with the oil.
  • Add a teaspoon of plain flour and a good sprinkle of ground paprika, and shake again.
  • Spread the beans over a baking tray in a single layer.
  • Roast at 200 degrees for 15 minutes, turning once during cooking.


  • Remove and use as nuts in the recipe above.




I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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