Ninety Second Greens Recipe

Ninety Second Greens


  • Leafy Asian Greens (Any kind will do but if you're going to keep it under 90 seconds you should use the thinner, leafier greens. Bok choi, Gai lan etc. will take a little longer)
  • Oil
  • Salt or Chicken or Vegetable Stock Powder (If using stock, only use the Asian kind)
  • Prepared Chili Sauce (optional) (The sauce in the picture is homemade and usually used for Hainanese Chicken Rice, a pounded mix of red chili, garlic, ginger, salt and lemon juice. I think it goes with just about anything.)

How to make Ninety Second Greens

Long Title: Oiled Asian Greens with Homemade Chili

As a relatively carnivorous male living alone, I often find my midweek meals will focus on meat (or seafood) and starches, and I'll often sit down to eat and realise I've forgotten to make any vegetables. This is a shame because I love vegetables. It's just that I sometimes get forgetful.

After a thorough rebuke from my grandmother she showed me this, and now I have absolutely no excuse to ever have a meal without veggies. Assuming you have water boiling, you can literally go from opening the fridge door to sitting down to eat it in 90 seconds.

I'll eat this as a dish within any Asian meal or just on it's own as a snack. Simple, healthy and delicious.

To get started, fill a small saucepan half-full with water and bring to a rolling boil. Start your mental timer.

  1. 0-15 seconds: Open the fridge, pull out the greens and chop off the root end. Don't rush, you've got plenty of time and I don't want to be responsible for you losing a thumb.

  2. 15-30 seconds: Wash the greens thoroughly either under the tap or in a sink full of water, cut into manageable lengths.

  3. 30-75 seconds: Add a tablespoon of salt (or stock powder) to the boiling water, stir and drop in the greens (stalks first, leaves last). Add another half tablespoon of salt or stock powder on top of the greens and then pour over about a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Cook until tender, stirring once or twice to make sure the salt or stock isn't sticking to the leaves. This should only take 30-45 seconds.

  4. 75-89 seconds: Pull the greens out with some tongs and place in a colander. Use the tongs to squeeze out excess moisture and transfer over to your bowl. Top with a spoonful of your favourite chili sauce, if you're using it (homemade is obviously better).

  5. 90 seconds: Eat. Did you make it in time?

  • dubow
    dubow says

    Yum. Here are suggestions for two different 'dressings' you can try too, 1. Oyster sauce, water and little sugar... then just slightly warm the mixture to mix the sauce properly. I normally boil the veg in a wok and use the same wok to make this sauce after the veg is done. 2. Soya sauce, water, garlic and little rice vinegar to taste.

  • theory
    theory says

    Thanks! Yes, I do those "dressings" sometimes too except I often forget the rice vinegar with the garlic (I use stock instead of soy and thicken it with a little cornflour and water). It really needs the vinegar to get that necessary bit of sweetish tartness.

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