Chinese Vegetable Recipes

Chinese vegetable recipes
Chinese vegetable recipes. Cultura RM Exclusive/Matt Dutile Getty Image

Chinese vegetables can be very different compared with Western vegetables. Differences can include taste, texture or appearance. One example is Chinese celery which is fine, long and with a stronger flavour compared to Western celery.


This article contains many links that give you some ideas of how to prepare and cook Chinese vegetables or how to prepare your local produce vegetable in Chinese style. You can also check the article “Chinese Cooking – Ingredient Substiutions” if you want to try some of the recipes in this article but you have difficulty getting hold of some of the ingredients.


All the recipes here should be quick and easy so even if you’re new to Chinese cooking don’t panic or feel nervous.

Delicious and refreshing Taiwanese Kimchi recipes 

This recipe uses Asian flavors to liven up a standard coleslaw recipe. To further the Asian influence, try replacing the red cabbage with Napa cabbage.


Fresh asparagus turns out tender but still crisp, coated with a flavorful oyster sauce in this quick and easy asparagus stir-fry. The asparagus is paired with mushrooms and red bell peppers - the recipe uses approximately 4 cups of vegetables and is designed to have a bit of extra sauce to go with the rice.

This bitter melon recipe tastes a little bit sweet and sour. It’s a great recipe for people trying bitter melon for the first time.


A healthy vegetable recipe which mixes blanched broccoli with delicious oyster sauce. You can also use long stem broccoli instead of normal broccoli.


You can also use sliced smoked bacon or smoked bacon lardon instead of Chinese sausage.


Candied Sweet Potatoes

Rice vinegar and Chinese five-spice powder adds an extra kick to this candied sweet potatoes recipe. This recipe serves 2 to 3 and can easily be doubled to serve more people.


This popular Szechuan dish is a staple at many Chinese restaurant buffets. Instead of chili paste, feel free to add 4 - 6 small dried red chilis if desired. Serves 4.


Chinese “Seaweed” – Deep Fried Bok Choy

The seaweed in this recipe is actually bok choy that has been deep-fried just until it turns crispy. This is one recipe where you probably won't want to reuse the deep-frying oil for another dish - the bok choy turns it a greenish color.


You can also use Kale instead of bok choy.


This is a classic recipe for Chicken Chop Suey.


While chop suey as we know it is an American-Chinese creation, and not an authentic Chinese dish, it may have been inspired by the the stir-fried vegetables Chinese farmers used to eat after a long day working in the fields. Pork chop suey is primarily a vegetable dish; the meat is added for extra flavor.


This family recipe for chop suey features pork, quail eggs and vegetables flavored with soy sauce, oyster sauce and seasonings.


This is a quick and easy Asparagus recipe. It’s served cold so it’s also a perfect summer dish.


Cream Corn Soup

Made with chicken broth, this is a "thin" soup, designed to take the place of a beverage at the dinner table. You can thicken it by adding two lightly beaten eggs or two egg whites before serving.


Traditionally, this warming Cantonese soup is prepared in the same way as “Chicken Velvet” by chopping the meat or seafood into small pieces and mixing it with egg whites, liquid and cornstarch. This recipe for Cream Corn Soup is much simpler – the cornstarch and water mixture is used as a thickener, and the egg whites are streamed into the hot broth before serving, just like in Egg Drop Soup. White pepper, green onions and Asian sesame oil add extra flavor to the broth.


Easy Chinese Green Beans

Traditionally, Chinese green bean recipes are made with Asian long beans – dark green beans that can grow up to three feet long. But you can make this dish with other types of green beans, including haricot verts and runner beans.


Traditionally, Chinese cucumber salad is made by heating cucumbers in a spicy mixture of sesame oil, chili peppers, and Szechuan peppercorns. In this quick and easy recipe for cucumber salad, cucumbers are tossed in a red wine vinegar dressing spiked with minced ginger and chili flakes.
Note: If you find the sesame flavor a little too strong, reduce it to 1 teaspoon.


A hardy vegetable loaded with nutritional benefits, broccoli readily absorbs the Asian flavors in this easy stir-fry with fresh garlic and oyster sauce. The key to this recipe is to make sure the broccoli is thoroughly drained before stir-frying and to stir quickly so the garlic doesn't burn.


This easy recipe for glazed carrots makes a nice side dish for a family dinner or holiday occasion. Serves 4.


A sweet tasting Okra stir fry recipe.


Pickled Carrots

Feel free to increase the heat in this simple pickling recipe by adding 2 or 3 hot red chili peppers.


Fuzzy or hairy melon (also called Mo Qua) looks like a zucchini covered with baby fuzz. You'll find it at Asian markets, but author Stephen Wong notes that cucumbers can be substituted in a pinch.


Delicious pork and bitter melon stir-fry recipe. Bitter melon is a vegetable with strong chalky recipe. Bitter melon is a bit of an acquired taste- pre-boiling makes it less overpowering.


Shanghai Vegetable Rice

Everything is cooked in one pot in this version of Shanghai vegetable rice, an eastern Chinese dish. Steaming sausages on top of rice is a common Chinese cooking technique which gives the rice extra flavor.


Potatoes are boiled and stir-fried in this spicy Szechuan dish. If Szechuan peppercorns are not available, try substituting a bit of chili paste (available in Asian markets and the ethnic section of many grocery stores). Alternately, sprinkle the potatoes with red pepper flakes near the end of cooking.


Stir-frying snow peas brings out their sweet flavor.


Easy and delicious Chinese style spicy pickled cucumber recipe.


Eggplant and ground pork are stir-fried with chili paste paste and other seasonings in this spicy Szechuan recipe. For a vegetarian version, use vegetable stock instead of chicken broth, leave out the ground pork and increase the eggplant.


Steamed Eggplant

The key ingredient in the dressing is red rice vinegar, available at Asian markets. This steamed eggplant recipe serves 4 to 6


For best results, wash the bean sprouts ahead of time, so that they have a chance to drain thoroughly.


A hardy vegetable loaded with nutritional benefits, broccoli readily absorbs the Asian flavors in this easy stir-fry with fresh garlic and oyster sauce. The key to this recipe is to make sure the broccoli is thoroughly drained before stir-frying and to stir quickly so the garlic doesn't burn.


Oyster sauce nicely complements the slightly bittersweet taste of Chinese broccoli (gai lan). Blanching turns Chinese broccoli a beautiful jade green, but you can use regular broccoli or long stem broccoli if it's not available.


Chinese celery has a much strong flavour than European celery. The stalks of Chinese celery are thinner than European celery and are usually hollow in the middle. Before you cook Chinese celery I recommend you gently crush the celery stalks which will result in a better texture and more flavour too.


As a rule, the Chinese do not eat raw vegetables, and lettuce is no exception. This is a great side dish for Chinese New Year, as lettuce is considered to be a "lucky" food.


Delicious and easy stir-fry mushrooms and bamboo shoots recipe.


Baby bok choy has a sweeter flavor than adult varieties. For a lighter taste, feel free to stir-fry the baby bok choy in olive oil. Low-sodium chicken broth can be used in place of water.


This simple spinach stir-fry pairs nicely with steak.


The recipe calls for cutting the bell peppers in half, but if you like you can also leave them whole and fill with about 3/4 cup of the pork mixture (blanch the peppers first as called for in the recipe)


Sweet and Sour Cabbage

Napa cabbage has a sweet flavor and is loaded with vitamins and minerals. Traditionally, this spicy cabbage dish is served cold, with the sauce mixture heated and poured over the vegetables and ginger just before serving. Here it is turned into an easy stir-fry. The hot chili oil is optional.


This quick and easy sweet and sour recipe uses frozen Oriental vegetables and a sweet and sour sauce made with pineapple juice, brown sugar, and rice vinegar.


These beans are "dry-fried," a Szechuan cooking technique that makes them extra tender. The recipe calls for Chinese longbeans, but you can use haricots verts, green beans or runner beans. The recipe normally calls for chili peppers, but I've used chili paste - feel free to substitute dried red chilis if desired. 


Plain cooked rice and stir-fried bok choy taste great on their own, but pairing them adds something extra. In this recipe for vegetable rice, adding stir-fried vegetables to steaming rice means the rice is nicely infused with their flavor. There are numerous variations on this eastern Chinese dish – for example, you can forego the mushrooms and add steamed Chinese sausages, or replace the bok choy with Chinese cabbage. It makes a very nutritious side dish that pairs nicely with cooked chicken, beef, or seafood, whether or not you’re preparing a complete Chinese meal.


Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls

This recipe calls for vegetarian oyster sauce, flavored with mushrooms instead of oysters. It is available in Asian markets.


This easy to make party dish tastes best with fresh water chestnuts. If you have difficulty wrapping the 1/2 slice of bacon around the water chestnut, try cutting it in half again lengthwise.


A delicious and refreshing way to prepare zucchini in this Chinese influenced recipe.