Jul 6, 2020

Water Lily Stir-Fry with Cordia Dichotoma 破布子炒水蓮

If you're wondering what in the world is cordia dichotoma, also known as "pua po ji" in Taiwan, check out my previous post for more details. 

Switching focus back to water lily. Its full name is nymphoides hydrophylla, guess let's just stick with water lily for now. It's a type of aquatic plant that can be found in tropical Asian, also one of the major agricultural products in southern Taiwan. The part used in this recipe is the long and slim tube-shaped petiole. Crunchy and considered "slightly cold" ingredient in Asian cooking, that's why usually you'll find ginger, which is considered "warm" ingredient stir-fried together with water lily.

Water lily stir-fry with cordia dichotoma 破布子炒水蓮 - 


  • 1 big bundle water lily
  • 3 tablespoons cordia dichotoma
  • 8 shiitake mushroom
  • 300 grams shredded pork (can cut down to half)
  • 1/2 cup shredded ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 to 2 red chilies
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese rice cooking wine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


Use 1 teaspoon of Chinese rice cooking wine plus 2 teaspoons of soy sauce to massage the shredded pork. Marinate the pork first while prepping other ingredients.

Peel and chop the garlic cloves. Destem and finely chop the red chilies. Peel and shred the ginger. Destem and slice the shiitake mushrooms.

Rinse then soak the water lily in water, it'll help revive the water lily, so the texture stays crunchy and fresh. After about 10 to 15 minutes, drain and cut the water lily into shorter sections, about 2-inch long.

Drizzle some olive oil to the wok and turn to high heat. Add in garlic and red chilies, give it a quick stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Make sure not to burn the garlic pieces.

Transfer shredded pork and shiitake mushroom to the wok, give it a quick mix. 

Add in water lily and shredded ginger. Also add in 1/4 teaspoon of salt and cordia dichotoma. Cook for about one more minute.

Right before serving, pour in about 1 teaspoon of rice cooking wine along the side of the wok. That direct contact to the hot surface can further draw out the aroma from the rice cooking wine.

Plate and serve.

I used more pork here because I don't want to have any unused leftover ingredients. No way around it, I already picked the smallest box of pork that was available at the market. You can cut down to 100 grams to 150 grams of pork instead. No need to adjust the amount for other ingredients if doing so.

Water lily stir-fry is such a popular dish in Taiwan, you can find it in many Taiwanese restaurants. I guess its watery crunch bite can be a little bit addicting. Usually water lily are prepared as a simple stir-fry and doesn't really have cordia dichotoma in it, but I like that gentle sweet note from the cordia dichotoma. Some also add goji berries. No matter what, try to keep some shredded ginger to balance off water lily's "coldness" property.

Other recipe using cordia dichotoma:

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