Asian Inspired Greens

August 22, 2022

Asian Inspired Greens

When I discover fresh greens in August in Texas, I honestly can’t say no. That is exactly the reason that led to my having a bag of braising baby greens, a bunch of chard, and another bunch of spicy mustard, all needing to be cooked at once. I immediately knew that I would turn to Hetty McKinnon for inspiration, and below is my take on her Restaurant Greens from her gorgeous book, To Asia With Love.


Garlic/Shallot Oil (optional) 

  • 3 TBL of Olive Oil
  • 2 Garlic cloves or one medium shallot,  peeled and finely chopped


  • 4 TBL Tamari
  • 1 TEA Maple Syrup
  • 2-3 TBL of boiling water
  • A few grinds of pepper (or, if you prefer a bit of heat, red pepper flakes) 


  • 2 bunches of any greens (chard, kale, mustard, gai lan, ong or bok choy), well washed and drained on a dish towel.
  • Olive oil
  • Sea Salt


  1. If you would like to serve this with garlic/shallot sauce, prepare it by heating oil in a small pan. When hot, add garlic or shallot and leave on the heat just long enough for it to color slightly. This will be a matter of seconds. Remove from heat, and allow to cool.
  2. In a jar with a lid, combine tamari, maple syrup, water, and pepper. Shake well and set aside. 
  3. Prepare greens by cutting the leaf lengthwise down the center and in half if they are long. Work through the bunches attempting to keep a similar length and shape.  
  4. Fill a large pan with water and bring to a boil; add a splash or two of oil. Working in batches, drop the pieces with thicker stems first, and then after a few seconds, add the more leafy pieces.  Use a wooden spoon to submerge all of the greens and move them around for a few more seconds. This blanching process is quick, and the pieces are done as soon as they are wilted and brighten in color. 
  5. Gently remove with tongs, slotted spoon, or a similar tool and place in a colander. Drain very well. If serving, immediately arrange the greens on a platter, drizzling with the tamari blend and a spoonful of the garlic oil.  Salt to taste. 
  6. You can also opt to put greens in an ice bath to retain their bright color and warm and serve later. 
  7. Serve alongside steamed rice or over rice noodles. 

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