Jun 30, 2018

Dried Oysters, Garlic Chives, and Ground Pork Stir-Fry

Dried oysters, yes you heard me right. It might not be as common back in the states, but dried oysters can be found with little efforts here in Taiwan. You can find it at specialty grocery stores, sometimes even fancy supermarket has a little stand selling such seafood item. It's actually much easier to find dried oysters compared to canned artichokes here. You should see my face when I finally locate canned artichoke with price tag for more than $24 USD.

My mom used to add one or two dried oysters in "zhonzi," the glutinous rice wrapped with bamboo leaves usually served during dragon boat festival period. So consider this a simplified version of the filling. It's way less work without the bamboo leaves wrapping step. However, I still save some of the dried oysters stir-fry and wrap with glutinous rice just for fun, kind of like a Taiwanese rice ball. But do know that serving it as a side dish with steamed rice can be just as great.

Dried oysters, garlic chives, and ground pork stir-fry -


  • 1 1/2 cups round glutinous rice (optional)
  • 1 loosely packed cup dried oysters
  • 0.4 lb/ 1 small bundle garlic chives
  • 0.4 lb ground pork (pick the leaner kind)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 red chili
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Some dried nori sheets (optional)


Cook the glutinous rice first if going to turn this stir-fry into rice ball filling. Once ready, fluff the grains and set aside wait for it to cool down.

Dice dried oysters into smaller pieces. Chop garlic chives. Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves. Destem red chili and finely chop the remaining section.

Drizzle some olive oil to the pan and turn to medium high heat. Once warms up, add in dried oysters along with garlic, red chili, salt, and black pepper. Give it a quick stir. Wait till aromatic but not burning the small garlic pieces. If uncertain about dried oysters, treat it like dried shrimps, they are somewhat similar when used as aromatic ingredients.

Add in ground pork and stir-fry till the meat gets separated. 

Pour in 2 tablespoons oyster sauce and 1 tablespoon soy sauce paste. Mix and cook one or two minutes then add in garlic chives. Keep cooking the whole mixture till darkened and nearly dried up.

Serve as a stir-fry side dish, or if taking one step further and making rice balls, lay out a sheet of cling foil first. Dip a spoon in drinkable water and scoop some glutinous rice onto the cling foil to prevent sticking. Spread out the rice and transfer one small spoonful of the stir-fry to the center. Grab all four corners of the cling foil to the center and enclose the filling with glutinous rice with some force. Make sure the rice sticks together so the rice ball won't fall apart easily. Wrap with dried nori sheet if desired.

Practice makes perfect, don't get discouraged if finding the rice just keep sticking onto your fingers instead of forming into a ball.

This recipe is on the saltier side, but it's intended to be served as a filling or heavier-tasting side dish, adjust the amount of soy sauce paste used if needed. Do keep the same portion for the oyster sauce, it pairs very well with dried oysters and can further bring out that extra natural sweetness all together. Not just to serve with the rice, it also works very well with dry noodles.

Even my Mister who's never a fan of seafood can withstand this dish, so go ahead and embrace dried oysters. 

Other Asian stir-fry recipes:

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