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Small Kid Time Favorite Pork With Ong Choi

One of my all-time favorite dish from my childhood. Still today, I have people asking me about Ong Choi. I never knew how else to describe it other than to say, that the stems are hollow. Ong choi translates in Chinese to “hollow vegetable.”
It is sometimes called water spinach or swamp cabbage, but is not related either spinach or cabbage. We had this dish very often in our household and it brings back fond memories of being in the kitchen with mom. Feel free to omit the harm ha.
Prep Time15 mins
Active Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: favorite dish, ong choi, hollow vegetable, water spinach, swamp cabbage, harm ha
Yield: 4 Servings.
Author: Deirdre K Todd


  • 2 tsp. peanut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 lb. boneless pork, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp. harm ha (fermented shrimp paste/sauce)
  • 1 medium bunch ong choi, 2-inch pieces


  • In a wok over medium high heat; stir-fry garlic and pork in oil.
  • Add oyster sauce, harm ha and ong choi stems; stir-fry 2 minutes.
  • Add ong choi leaves. Cover; cook 2-3 minutes until tender.
  • Mommy’s original recipe was without harm ha.

How To Serve:

  • Serves 4-6.