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Southern Stir Fry With Turnips and Greens

by jughandle

Southern Stir Fry With Turnips and Greens

Recipe Submitted by – Andy Garr

In my continuous effort to bring you the finest recipes from around the world, I submit Southern Stir Fry with Turnips and Greens, from my friend Andy Garr.  Andy and I met in high school playing basketball.  He moved and lives in Texas and posts a ton of interesting stuff on FaceBook.

It appears that Andy and I have the love of many interests in common.  Food among the most obvious.  Thanks for sending me this recipe Andy – jughandle

The Back Story

The Mississippi River Delta, stretches for one hundred miles along the banks of the mighty Mississippi. Extending eastward fifty miles across the state, it is among the richest agricultural regions in the world.

After the enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation, slaves no longer worked the cotton fields, Chinese men migrated to the Delta in search of work. As is the case today, many intended not to make the Delta their permanent home, only to earn money and send it home.  When they arrived, they found hard labor and low pay.

To achieve economic independence, these new immigrants opened grocery stores, selling to the black freedmen, formerly whose only choice were the plantation stores. The first Chinese grocery store in Mississippi likely appeared as early as the 1870s.

For generations Chinese immigrants continued to come to Mississippi Delta.  They joined with their extended families and incorporating their cooking into the local cuisine.  This recipe for stir-fried turnips and greens is one such dish. -excerpt from SECRETS OF THE SOUTHERN TABLE © 2018 by Virginia Willis.

5 from 1 vote
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Southern Stir-Fry With Turnips And Greens

Course Dinner, First Course, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Southern American
Keywords Southern Stir Fry
Protein ham
Cooking Method Pan Fried, Stir Fried
Hot/Cold Dish Hot
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Servings 4 people

What You Will Need:

  • 1 cup chicken stock - homemade chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp sherry
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 ounces country ham - cut into small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic - very finely chopped or pressed
  • 2 Tbsp ginger - peeled and cut into julienne strips
  • 1/2 Cup small sweet onion - thinly sliced crosswise
  • 4 ounces turnips - 4 small or 2 medium turnips about 4 ounces, peeled and thinly sliced into half-moons
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt - more or less to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper - freshly ground, more or less to taste
  • 4 Cups greens - Chopped about 6 ounces
  • 2 tsp honey - local honey is best and is optional


  • Stir together the stock and sherry. Set aside.
  • Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or large iron skillet over very high heat until a drop of water evaporates within a second or two when added to the pan.
  • Add the oil to the skillet and heat until shimmering.
  • Cook the ham until the fat is rendered, about 30 seconds
  • Throw in the garlic and ginger and cook just for 10 seconds.
  • Start stirring and add the onion stirring continuously, for 1 minute.
  • If you are using a wok move any ingredients up the sides if they start to brown too much. Don't burn anything.
  • Add the turnips and stir-fry for another minute or two, then season with salt and pepper.
  • Pour in the stock mixture and toss together quickly with the vegetables.
  • Mix in the greens and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are crisp and/or tender—3 to 5 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Drizzle with honey, if you choose, and serve immediately


Nutrition Facts
Southern Stir-Fry With Turnips And Greens
Amount Per Serving
Calories 158 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 11mg4%
Sodium 577mg25%
Potassium 265mg8%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 455IU9%
Vitamin C 16.7mg20%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 0.6mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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