I usually cook this dish using wongbok (白菜) but since wa wa cai looks like – and probably is the mini version of wongbok – and shares the same natural sweetness, I find it a suitable candidate for this dish.
I’m not sure whether we inherited the recipe from my grandma but this was definitely a dish I remember my mum cooking – and I remember I loved it every time she did because the vegetables were so sweet (and that means a lot to a kid!) and I liked the simplicity of the dish.
Fast forward many years. With everyone getting more health conscious, we don’t consume much canned food these days so we don’t eat this on a regular basis. In fact this is one of the rare canned food that I’d buy.
The canned stewed pork is oily. Hence, I always remove the oil from the gravy using oil filter paper (which I get from Daiso) and I get tasty gravy without the floating layer of oil, which I personally find gross.
If you can’t find wa wa cai, remember you can always replace this wtih wong bok. It’d be just as good.
Wa wa cai recipe (娃娃菜) with canned stewed pork (红烧排骨)
- 1 can of stewed pork
- 1 packet of wa wa cai (they come in a pack of 3 small bunches)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon oil
- Open the can of stewed pork and separate the pork from the gravy. Discard the bones and shred the meat using your fingertips.
- Filter out the oil from the gravy using oil filter paper. Set aside.
- Chop off the base of the vegetable then chop/tear the leaves of the veggie into bite size and cut the stems diagonally into about 2" segments. Separate the stems from the leaves.
- Heat oil in wok and stir fry the garlic till fragrant.
- Add the wa wa cai stems first to the wok as they take longer to cook. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add some water if it gets too dry (start with 1 tablespoon)
- Add in the leaves.
- When the leaves have softened, add the gravy and let the veggie simmer on low heat in the gravy for about 1min before adding the stewed pork.
- Let the dish come to a boil before turning off the heat.
- Dish and serve.