Learning > Recipes

Mix up your veggie options with stir-fried Chinese wild yam

Hedy Khoo on 01 Aug 2019

The New Paper


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Have you ever found yourself stuck in a rut, cooking and eating the same old vegetables?


Well, here is a recipe for a vegetable dish shared by the owner of my favourite kway chap stall.


It was Makansutra founder K.F. Seetoh who took me to eat the delectable kway chap in Jalan Benaan Kapal.


As it turns out, stall owner Chan Siak Gwek, 67, loves travelling, tasting different foods, then replicating the dishes for her family dinners.


On a trip to China in April, she fell in love with a dish of stir-fried Chinese wild yam (huai shan), celery, wood ear mushroom, lily bulb and wolfberry.


The textures of the few ingredients come together beautifully.


The slippery smooth crunchiness from the Chinese wild yam and wood ear mushroom goes well with the powdery tenderness of the lily bulbs.


In traditional Chinese medicine, it is believed that huai shan is beneficial to the kidneys, spleen and digestive system. It is also said to lower blood sugar. If you are at the wet market, ask for "shan yao", as vegetable sellers may be more familiar with that term.



  • 4g dried wood ear mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 50g snow peas, remove strings from both sides of the pod
  • 105g fresh lily bulbs, separated and rinsed
  • 1 stalk celery (100g), cut into 1cm by 1cm-thick sticks
  • 300g huai shan (Chinese wild yam), cut into 3cm by 4cm by 0.5cm pieces
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 9g wolfberries, rinsed



  • Soak the dried wood ear mushrooms in hot water until softened. Remove the hard bits of stem. Set aside.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over high heat. Add the snow peas and fry for 20 seconds.
  • Add the wood ear mushrooms and fry for 20 seconds.
  • Add the fresh lily bulbs and fry for 20 seconds.
  • Add the celery sticks and fry for 15 seconds.
  • Add the huai shan.
  • Season with oyster sauce and salt.
  • Fry for 30 seconds.
  • Add the wolfberries and fry for 15 seconds.
  • Turn off the heat and transfer to serving dish. Serve immediately.

Source: The New Paper © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.


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