Adding a time duration to a recipe title is a bold move, and I’ll admit that it sometimes makes me very nervous. Sure, if I were making say, guac, I’d freely tack it on, but for something that involves multiple elements of stir-frying and mixing and chopping, I feel the added pressure to make sure it stays within the given (rather boastful) time frame. I’d hate for it to sound like a clickbait-y headline and not live up to the hype; have it take even a little bit longer.

Stir-fries don’t take very long to cook at all – time in the wok/pan is usually 5-10 minutes tops. Most of the time that you spend is usually on the prep: slicing and dicing of all the different veg and aromats. And the cooking time may get slightly longer when meats are added to the mix. Not hard at all in terms of skill, but slightly time consuming and labour intensive. Especially so if you’re particular about getting the details right (vegetables on the bias, perfect ginger matchsticks etc) and don’t own a gadget to do all the work for you. You’re looking at a half-hour type situation for everything from scratch.

This is where a single veg, no chop stir-fry comes in handy. I like to keep the bok choy intact here, not because I’m too lazy to chop it up—I’m bad but not quite on that levelbut I feel that it eats better this way and also the risk of overcooking is minimal.

The process itself couldn’t be simpler: just chop off the knobby end of the bok choy and pull the individual segments apart with your hands. Rinse thoroughly since the bottom is where they trap a lot of the grit. Whilst you quickly blanch the bok choy, chop the shallots and garlic, and mix the sauce (which is just stirring a few things together in a bowl). Then it’s just a matter of browning the aromats in some oil, adding your sauce and bok choy back into the pan, and tossing it all up with sesame seeds and oil. That’s literally it. Ten minutes, if that.



Servings: 2 people


  • 500 grams bok choy
  • 7 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped (or ½ an onion)
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • ¼ tsp toasted sesame oil (optional)
  • 1 tsp oil


  • 2 ½ tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp chilli oil or chilli flakes to taste (see notes)
  • 2 tsp soy sauce


  • Prep the bok choy: remove the knobby bottom end of each and pull the individual segments (leaves) apart with your hands. Rinse the leaves thoroughly to rid them of any mud or grit.
  • Sauce: mix chilli oil or flakes, oyster sauce, and soy sauce together in a bowl and set aside.
  • Add the bok choy to a pan with ¼ cup of water. Cover and cook for 3-5 mins. Drain in a colander and set aside.
  • Heat the oil in the same pan and brown the shallots and garlic. Add the bok choy back into the pan and pour in the sauce. Turn the heat up and toss everything together for no more than a minute.
  • Take the pan off the heat and stir in toasted sesame oil and sesame seeds. Serve hot or at room temperature.


Chilli oil above refers to a combination of oil + chilli bits in a 1:1 ratio. Chilli crisp is also a good substitute.
If you’re looking to make this dish vegetarian/vegan friendly, use the mushroom variant of oyster sauce.

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