Beef and Pickled Mustard Greens (Haam Choy)

Beef and Pickled Mustard Greens is Cantonese home-cooked comfort food. Haam choy, sweet bell peppers, and melt-in-your-mouth velveted beef make for a simple, quick, yet delicious recipe.

Homemade Pickled Mustard Greens

Although you can buy neatly vacuum-packed pickled mustard greens at your local Chinese grocery store, my family has always made it at home. 

My grandma’s favorite dish for haam choy is fresh chicken with pickled mustard greens–but it has to be made with her own haam choy recipe! Others simply don’t measure up. 

That’s why we documented her full haam choy recipe, so now all of our family and friends can make it at home.  If you use store-bought vacuum-packed haam choy, you’ll want to give it a good rinse and also taste it because it is much saltier than homemade.

My mom also used to buy big heads of mustard greens to make gallons of haam choy at home. She used beef as often as chicken to make a delicious, 100% homemade stir-fry. 

Cantonese Beef and Pickled Mustard GreensCantonese Beef and Pickled Mustard Greens

Salty, briny, and just a little bit sweet

We call these pickled mustard greens haam choy, which means “salted vegetable.” But, in fact, my grandma’s recipe calls for salt, sugar, vinegar, and plenty of fresh ginger in the brine. 

If you consider yourself a pickle connoisseur, you have got to try this recipe! 

As for me, I always love a good beef stir fry, so when I get tired of the usual suspects (like Beef and Broccoli or Beef and Tofu), we turn to this Beef and Haam Choy. 

Recipe Instructions

Place the beef slices into a bowl with the cornstarch, baking soda, water, oyster sauce, and vegetable oil. Mix until thoroughly combined. Set aside for at least 30 minutes, or even overnight.

Meanwhile, prepare the ginger, pickled mustard greens, garlic, scallions, and bell pepper.

Marinated flank steak, scallions, peppers, garlic, ginger, and haam choyMarinated flank steak, scallions, peppers, garlic, ginger, and haam choy

Also, mix the sauce by combining the chicken stock, sugar, white pepper, oyster sauce, light soy sauce, and sesame oil, and set aside.

Heat your wok until it just begins to smoke, and spread 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil around the perimeter of the wok. Add the beef to the wok, spreading it in a single layer.

Adding sliced beef to wok in a single layerAdding sliced beef to wok in a single layer

Sear the meat for 1 minute on each side. Remove the beef from the wok, leaving any oil behind, and set aside.

Seared flank steak in wokSeared flank steak in wok

Next, set the wok to medium heat, and add another tablespoon of oil, along with the smashed ginger.

Smashed ginger pieces in oilSmashed ginger pieces in oil

After 15 seconds, add the pickled mustard greens.

Pickled mustard greens in wokPickled mustard greens in wok

Stir-fry for 30 seconds, until the greens are seared and slightly dry.

Increase the heat to high, and add the garlic…

Adding garlic to pickled mustard greens in wokAdding garlic to pickled mustard greens in wok

…and the white parts of the scallions and red bell peppers. (We also added the green parts of the scallions at this stage, but they’re better added later, which is why we tweaked the recipe instructions to reflect that!) Stir-fry for another minute.

Adding the scallions and bell peppersAdding the scallions and bell peppers

Add the Shaoxing wine around the perimeter of the wok to deglaze it, and stir everything together for another 30 seconds.

Stir-frying haam choy and vegetablesStir-frying haam choy and vegetables

Stir up the prepared sauce mixture and add it to the wok.

Adding Shaoxing wine to wokAdding Shaoxing wine to wok

Mix everything together until combined. Then push all of the ingredients to the middle of the wok. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the liquid comes to a simmer.

Add the seared beef—along with all of the juice that has collected in the bowl––and the green parts of the scallions. Cook for another 30 seconds.

Adding beef back to wokAdding beef back to wok

Add enough of the cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce. You don’t have to use it all, and you should go by your personal preference and taste.

Stirring in cornstarch slurryStirring in cornstarch slurry

Stir for 20-30 seconds. Plate and serve with steamed rice.

Cantonese Beef and Haam ChoyCantonese Beef and Haam Choy


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