It may not be commonly used in Chinese cooking, but kale is a fantastic ingredients to stir-fry with. It cooks quickly and doesn’t release much moisture when it cooks, so it stops the common home-cooking problem of have a wet, stewing wok rather than one that is frying on high heat.


1 bunch kale, washed

440g boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 4 thighs)

6 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra if needed

1 brown onion, peeled and sliced

2 tbsp oyster sauce

2 tsp Shaoxing wine

about ½ cup water or stock

1 tsp cornflour mixed with a little of the water or stock


Chicken marinade

1 tsp cornflour

1 tsp Shaoxing wine

2 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil


Prepare the kale by removing the thick stalks from the leaves with a knife and tearing the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Slice the chicken into large pieces (about 6 pieces per thigh) and combine with the marinade ingredients.

Heat your wok over high heat and pour the oil around the sides of the wok. Add the onion and garlic and toss for a minute or two until the garlic is lightly browned and fragrant. Remove the onion and garlic from the wok and add it to the kale, leaving as much oil in the wok as possible (although you can add more oil to the wok if there is too little remaining).

Return the wok to the heat, and when the oil is hot add the chicken. Fry for about 3 minutes until browned but not yet cooked through. Add the kale, onion and garlic to the wok and toss to coat the kale in the oil. As the kale starts to wilt, add the oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine and a few tablespoons of water or stock. Toss for a further 2 minutes until the kale is softened, adding more water or stock if needed to form a thick sauce to coat the chicken and kale. If the liquid is looking too thin, add a little of the cornflour mixture to thicken the sauce to a consistency that coats the chicken. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.


  • Don’t cut the garlic too small, or it will burn and have a bitter flavour.
  • This will work well with pork or beef, too.