Stir-fried Leeks with Vegetables

Chinese love to eat leeks during Chinese New Year (commonly on the eve and 7th day) because of its Chinese name – 蒜苗/大蒜 (Suan Miao/Da Suan), where “蒜” sounds like calculating (“算”) in Mandarin. Due to the similar sounds, it is believed that eating leeks is an auspicious symbol of wealth (lots of money to count) in the coming year. Although I never believe in any of the auspicious food symbolism, I think it’s fun to cook and eat festively. Here is a meatless recipe for leeks, stir-fried in taucheo (soy bean paste) with vegetables like mushrooms, baby corn and carrots.

Meat version:
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I’ve used leeks for western cooking (such as in the classic potato and leek soup and chicken pot pie) but in Chinese cooking, it’s pretty common to see them in stir fries.

Stir-fry Chinese Leeks Recipe

Stir-fried Leeks with Vegetables Recipe

Wash the crevices between the leek leaves thoroughly, as there is soil trapped in between the leaves. One way to clean them is to slice them half lengthwise, and after washing thoroughly, pat dry with kitchen paper towels and slice accordingly.

During the stir-fry, add a splash of water (or about 2 tbsp at a time) whenever the contents are too dry.


  • 200g leeks sliced diagonally (separate stalks from leaves)
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
  • 5 fresh shiitake mushrooms stalks removed
  • 5 baby corn sliced diagonally
  • 1/2 carrot peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp taucheo (soy bean sauce)
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine


  1. Heat oil in wok. Stir fry garlic until fragrant. Add leek (white portion), mushroom, baby corn and carrot. Stir fry for about 1 minute over high heat. Add tau cheo and sesame oil. Stir fry for another 1-2 minutes, or until the leek stalks are cooked.
  2. Add leek leaves and stir fry briefly till the leaves are cooked and coated in the tau cheo. Drizzle Chinese wine along the sides of the wok, turning off the heat seconds later when you smell the aroma of the wine.