Stir-fry 7 Types Vegetables
This stir-fry 7 types vegetables (七样菜) is a Chinese New Year dish of Teochew origin, typically served on the 7th day of celebrations known as Human Day (人日), aka everyone’s birthday. I actually cooked this yesterday, on the 13th day of CNY, as I am clearing the leftover CNY veggies in my fridge. Being an assortment of stir-fry greens, I firmly believe that this dish can be cooked & enjoyed all year round … I mean, who can say no to eating lots of healthy vegetables?
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There are no rules about what makes up the seven vegetables, but generally they are leafy greens, leeks and scallions. During CNY, try to at least include Chinese leeks 蒜 which symbolize wealth. Avoid negative symbolism such as bitter gourd or salted vegetables.
The seven vegetables (pictured above) I used in this recipe are:
- two stalks Chinese leeks 蒜
- two bunches Shanghai bok choy 上海青
- few stalks choy sum (cai xin) shoots 菜心苗
- one big stalk Chinese spinach (puay leng) 菠菜
- some Chinese (coral) lettuce leaves 生菜
- small head napa cabbage 大白菜
- two stalks “negi” scallion 葱 (only the bottom white part)
Outside of the above seven vegetables, I added baby corn, carrot & red chilli for a splash of colour.
Other suitable vegetables:
- Chinese mustard, broccoli, celery, coriander, spring onion, lily bulb & yellow chives
- Any variety of Chinese cabbage, kale, chives, lettuce & spinach
- Any Chinese greens such as baby bok choy (小白菜), choy sum (菜心), nai bai (奶白) & kailan (芥蓝)
- and the list goes on…
This recipe is great for clearing the fridge!
Items 1 & 5-7 above are leftovers from CNY so this dish is essentially a clearing-the-fridge exercise for me. My neighborhood wet market vegetable stall sells leafy vegetables the “ala carte method” by weight, so I bought small handfuls of the other three veggies (item 2-4) to make this dish. In this way, I don’t need to buy a packet of each vegetable, which in turn would create more leftovers from making a leftover dish :p
How to cut and cook the vegetables?
I sort the cut vegetables to three plates, in the order of putting them into the wok based on the timing needed to cook them.