Have you heard of green dragon vegetables before? I’ve never heard of this vegetable, not until perhaps over a decade ago when it makes its appearance at the wet markets, supermarkets and Chinese restaurants. Green dragon vegetable is a direct literal translation of 青龍菜. It is called qing long cai in Mandarin and cheng loong choy in Cantonese. From what I’d gathered around the internet, green dragon vegetables (and yellow chives) are actually Chinese chives but grown using different techniques. Chinese chives, also known as garlic chives or 韭菜 or jiu cai (Mandarin) or gau choy (Cantonese) or ku chai (Hokkien) has flat green leaves.
The technique of growing green dragon vegetables actually borrows from yellow chives [韭黃 or jiu huang (Mandarin) or gau wong (Cantonese)]. To produce yellow chives (flat yellowish-whitish leaves due to lack of chlorophyll), the Chinese chives are covered totally without any sunlight. To grow Chinese chives into green dragon vegetables which have flat light green leaves, the chives are covered with thick nets to limit the sunlight. As a result of limiting the sunlight, the green dragon vegetable has fewer fibers, is tenderer and is very mild. It has its own distinctive fragrance when cooked.
I very very rarely cook green dragon vegetables even though I love them. Whenever I saw them at the market or supermarket, my mind will go into this stingy state which resulted in me not buying any in the end. How stingy? This stingy: “Aiyo, it’s expensive. Skip” or “RM5+ for so few strands/one vegetable? Why not spend the RM5+ on two/three different vegetables instead.” Well, recently I decided to spend more on good things that I like. But what do you know? A few weeks back, I found green dragon vegetables at Tesco (now Lotus’s) selling at RM2.99 @ 100g. Whooooo, win!
This dish is a result of it.
Stir-fried green dragon vegetables with prawns & white crab mushrooms is amazing. Give it a try!
First thing first, defrost the frozen prawns. If you have fresh ones, even better. Once thawed, remove the shells and devein. Personally, I don’t devein my prawns. 😉 Then, rinse the prawns and put them in a bowl. Add a teaspoon of Shaoxing wine and mix the two together. Set it aside.
Clockwise from left: Green dragon vegetables, white crab mushrooms (also known as snow white mushrooms) and chopped onion.
Chop the green dragon vegetables and white crab mushrooms about 1.5″ in length.
Heat a skillet over medium heat and add cooking oil. Once the oil is hot, add chopped onion and stir-fry until some of the onions have turned golden.
Next, add prawns (including the juice+Shaoxing wine). Once one side has turn color, flip the prawns to the other side.
When the prawns have just turned red+white, add the white crab mushrooms. Stir-fry for about a minute.
Then, add green dragon vegetables and season the dish with fine sea salt. Stir-fry the dish until the green dragon vegetables are just starting to wilt. Plate it up and serve.
This dish is definitely best to serve with warm rice. I didn’t add water while cooking, yet the dish produces liquid thanks to the vegetables and mushrooms. Pssst, the green dragon vegetables on the photo is a little overcooked, thanks to juggling photo-taking and cooking at the same time. 😛 Excuse Haha!
Green dragon vegetables smell like grass when it’s raw but when cooked, it has an unforgettable and pleasant aroma.
Side note: This side dish was initially cooked using shio koji. But then I realized that almost no one will have shio koji in their kitchen unless you have a special interest in it. Thus, I recooked this dish using sea salt. I gotta say, this dish shine when shio koji is used. But to anyone who hasn’t tried it, they will find the one cooked with sea salt very good. I will be sharing how to make shio koji later (hopefully), so when you’ve made your own shio koji, try cooking this dish again with it and compare.
Stir-Fried Green Dragon Vegetables With Prawns & White Crab Mushrooms
6-8 medium prawns, deshelled, deveined & rinsed
1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
100g green dragon vegetables, chopped into 1.5″ length
75g white crab mushrooms, chopped into 1.5″ length (also known as snow white mushrooms)
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 tablespoons cooking oil; preferably lard or coconut oil
1. Place the cleaned prawns into a bowl and add Shaoxing wine. Mix well and put aside.
2. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add cooking oil and once it’s hot, add chopped onion. Cook until some of the onions have turned golden.
3. Next, add prawns including its juice & Shaoxing wine. Leave it be and flip the prawns to the other side when they have turn color.
4. Add white crab mushrooms when the prawns have just turned red+white. Stir-fry for about a minute.
5. Add green dragon vegetables and season the dish with fine sea salt or to taste.
6. Stir-fry until the green dragon vegetables are just starting to wilt. Plate it and serve with warm rice.