Lush Chinese Mushrooms & Bok Choy: A Culinary Classic

A Cultural Gem from Shanghai’s Kitchen

Dive headfirst into the legacy of Chinese mushrooms & bok choy, a Shanghai delicacy that becomes the talk of the town every Chinese New Year. With petite Shanghai bok choy playing a perfect sidekick to the braised dried Chinese mushrooms’ depth, this dish is like a wink to our vegetarian and vegan pals — just swap in that vegetarian oyster sauce, and you’re golden.

An Underrated Chinese Veggie Delight

For reasons unknown, this delectable mushroom and bok choy fusion hasn’t quite claimed its stake in the American culinary scene. However, a recent trend shows it cropping up more in local Chinese eateries. Given its burst of flavors and textures, we felt compelled to recreate and share this gem from the East. While Judy, the Shanghai-born food enthusiast of our duo, might seem the natural choice for this recipe, I (the Cantonese counterpart) took the lead. Why? Simply because its preparation is refreshingly straightforward.

Anticipation brewing? Time to embark on this culinary journey!

Essential Elements

  • 2½ ounces small dried Chinese Mushrooms (70 grams)
  • 10 ounces Shanghai baby bok choy (280 grams, tails neatly removed and longitudinally halved)
  • 2½ tablespoons vegetable oil (partitioned)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 garlic buds (minutely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • ¼ teaspoon deep-toned soy sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons classic soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster essence (choose vegetarian oyster sauce for a vegan twist)
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar
  • A pinch of sesame oil & white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour (blended with an equal amount of water)

The Culinary Dance

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, douse the dried Chinese mushrooms with 2-3 cups of warm water, ensuring they’re wholly immersed. Cover with a plate. Owing to their size, these mushrooms will hydrate swiftly. In a quarter hour, snip off their stems and let them luxuriate in the water for an added 15 minutes.
  2. Submerge the segmented Shanghai bok choy in water, ensuring total immersion. Gently shake the greens to dislodge any trapped grit. This rinsing might need a couple of repeats until the water runs clear.
  3. Post their hydration spa, move the mushrooms onto a plate, ensuring to gently press out surplus moisture. Preserve the mushroom-infused water.
  4. Combine 6 cups water, a tablespoon of vegetable oil, and salt in a pan, bringing it to a boil. Briefly immerse the Shanghai bok choy for 40 seconds. They should exude a vibrant green hue. Quickly transfer the veggies to a bowl, drenching them with two cups of tepid water. Swiftly drain to maintain their crispy charm.
  5. Elegantly position the bok choy in a circular formation on a serving platter, leaving a centerpiece for the mushrooms.
  6. Warm your wok over a spirited flame, circling it with 1½ tablespoons of vegetable oil. Toss in the meticulously chopped garlic and mushrooms, stir-frying briefly. Introduce the Shaoxing wine for a splash of authenticity.
  7. Add the reserved mushroom liquid to the wok, ensuring you exclude any residual grit.
  8. As it nears a simmer, infuse the concoction with the duo of soy sauces, oyster essence, sugar, a dash of sesame oil, and white pepper. Let the melody simmer for a calming 5 minutes.
  9. Gently stream in the cornflour blend, ensuring continuous stirring for that perfect consistency. Adjust seasoning or thickness as desired. The sauce should gracefully cling to your spoon.
  10. Finally, crown your artfully arranged bok choy with the mushrooms and their luscious sauce. Indulge immediately for a truly memorable experience!


As more individuals lean towards plant-based diets, dishes like these not only stand as testaments to traditional cuisines but also highlight their versatility and adaptability. Incorporating a balance of flavors, textures, and nutrients, such dishes underscore the importance of mindful eating, allowing us to celebrate culture, history, and health in every bite. The magic lies not just in the ingredients but in the heart and passion poured into the cooking process.

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