Baby Kale Stir-Fried with Oyster Sauce

Stir-frying happens quickly, so line up prepped ingredients to gracefully and easily glide through the cooking process. You don’t need a giant wok for all the greens, which will collapse into a creamy, earthy side dish. Use a wide pot or pan that can take big heat. This recipe is my supermarket take on stir-fried water spinach, a go-to vegetable for everyday Viet meals. Prewashed greens don’t release much liquid, which can dilute flavors and turn a stir-fry sizzle into a fizzle.

Baby Kale Stir-Fried with Oyster Sauce
Photo: Greg DuPree
Total Time:
20 mins
2 to 4


  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce, plus more to taste

  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (such as Three Crabs)

  • 4 teaspoons canola oil or other neutral oil (such as grapeseed), divided

  • 1 (3/4-ounce) red Fresno chile, jalapeño, or serrano chile, seeds and ribs removed, chopped (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) (optional)

  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar (optional)

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic, divided

  • 2 teaspoons water

  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

  • 2 (5-ounce) packages baby kale, spinach, or mixed leafy greens (about 16 cups)

  • Black pepper


  1. Whisk together oyster sauce, fish sauce, and 1 teaspoon oil in a small bowl until combined. If desired, stir in chile and sugar. Add additional oyster sauce, if desired. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic; set aside. Whisk together 2 teaspoons water and cornstarch in a small bowl until milky and smooth; set aside.

  2. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven over high until shimmering. Add remaining 1 tablespoon garlic; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 5 to 10 seconds. Add kale a few handfuls at a time, stirring until wilted before adding next batch, until all greens have wilted and are reduced to about one-third in volume, about 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

  3. Add oyster sauce mixture to kale; stir to fully coat greens. Cook, stirring often, until greens have released most of their liquid, about 40 seconds. Stir in cornstarch mixture; cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens slightly and greens take on a silky finish, about 30 seconds. Transfer greens to a platter; garnish with black pepper.

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