Sunday 15 May 2011

Stir-fry Mani Cai Wth Egg - 马尼菜炒蛋

During my childhood time my granny used to prepare this Stir-fry Vegetable at least once in alternate week. But ever since she passed away, this dish seems to be vanished in our menu list. Last weekend while doing my usual weekly groceries, I spotted  a few bundles of these Mani Cai (马尼菜) (also known as sweet leaves) at one of the vegetable stalls in the market.

Before consuming these Mani Cai, there is an interesting preparation step that you have to take note before you can turn these bitter leaves into edibile leaves. From some of the information that I gather from the facebook readers suggestions(here), these leaves has to be removed from the stalks then rubbed with salt to sweat out those bitter juices. And if without this treatment these leaves will taste bitter instead of sweet.

1 Bunch of Mani Cai(马尼菜) , about 350g
3 Tablespoons Cooking Oil
3 Garlic Cloves, finely minced
1 Teaspoon Chicken Stock Powder
1 Egg
2 Tablespoons Water
Some Wolfberries, optional

1. Remove all the edible leaves from the mani cai stalks which should yield about 200g.

2. Discard stems. Rinse and wash leaves, drained well.

3. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of salt on the drained mani cai leaves, mix it thoroughly and rubbed it with fingers till sweat.

4. Squeeze dry the juice, rinse thoroughly then squeeze dry again.

5. Preheat the frying pan, add 3 tablespoons of oil and heat till heat up. Add minced garlic and saute till golden brown then add in the leaves.

6. Stir till the mani cai leaves wilted, add in chicken stock powder and mixed well.

7. Add water and stir till water evaporates then break in the egg and stir it through the leaves till cooked.

8. Lastly toss in some wolfberries. Turn off heat and dish up on serving plate.

There are still many different ways of preparing this Mani Cai, some people loves to add it into soup together with noodles while others loves to stir-fry it with Sambal Chili too. Do share with us your cooking tips/methods in preparing this vegetables too.


  1.  突然想起我好久没吃这道菜了,这是我的客家妈妈的家常菜。

  2. 对哦!我也是非常想念奶奶煮的这道家常菜。你们的煮法也和这个大同小意吗?

  3. Your grandma must be very proud of you and happy to know you recreated her dish. :-)  I have never heard of this vegetable but I'm interested in trying.  I don't think Asian market in the US sells this though.  I'll pay ore attention on my next visit. 

  4. Parsley Sage15/5/11 8:35 pm

     Interesting trick with the salt!  The finished stir-fry looks very good tho :)

  5.  I've never tried or seen Mani Cai before. Looks very delicious lol!

  6. YUMS! This vege.. is it known as gou zi chai as well?!?!

    I wanna cook this one of these days! 

  7.  No no this is not the " Kau Kee - 九杞 (wolfberry leaves)". This one the leaves are smaller and without throns on the stems. Next time u can look out for it on the veggi stall. It is very sweet when use the cook soup too.

  8.  Em... i doubt u can find this is US Asian Market as it is a very village veggi :(

  9. There is another veggie that we also used salt to reduce it bitterness is Bitter Gourd :)

  10.  Haha village veggie.  I see... too bad.  But at least I enjoyed "looking" at your food.

  11. JeannieTay17/5/11 3:55 pm

     It was added to the pan meen (flat noodles) soup here together with fried anchovies....some like this vegetable but my sons refuse to eat them...will painstakingly pick every single leaf out of their pan meen!

  12. Ellena,
    We often cook stir-fry mani cai here but we don't rub it in salt. After washing the leaves, we squeeze dry them then tear them into pieces. Just simply take a handful and tear into small bits using both hands. Only then we stir-fry it with egg and salt as seasoning. 

  13. Hi Delia, I heard of this method too :) thanks for sharing with us. I shall tried yours next round.

  14. There is these "Mani Cai" in Bian Mian soup  from those stalls outside? Em....i have not come across b4 :) But i guess most of the kids don't like veggie in their dishes. Same goes to my boy.

  15. Mani Cai is my favourite since young and this is the way I like it to be, exactly same as my mum's cooking minus the woftberries. It's a great idea to add woftberries, I shall try next time but it's not easy to find Mani Cai nowsaday.


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