I've grown out of my aversion to mustard greens (gai choi). When I was young, the taste seemed unbearably strong but now I find it pleasant, with a peppery bitterness that becomes milder with cooking. Like other members of the brassica family, mustard greens are now in season. Look for firm, heavy and succulent pale-green stems, with darker leaves. Size matters when it comes to mustard greens - and smaller isn't better. The thicker stems on the larger varieties are preferred in Chinese cuisine. At expensive restaurants, the leaves are cut off before the stems are cooked. Typically, though, the stems and leaves are cooked together. The bitter, peppery flavour is delicious with the fatty richness of laap mei, or air-dried meats - shrivelled pork sausage, liver sausage, Chinese bacon and salted duck - that are popular in winter. To prepare the meat, slice the sausages diagonally into 5mm-thick pieces, the bacon (rind removed) a little thinner, and steam the salted duck for about 10 minutes before chopping into bite-sized chunks. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil, blanch the mustard greens then drain, squeezing as much water as possible from the leaves. Heat a wok until hot then coat it lightly with oil. Add the prepared meat and stir-fry until the fat starts to render out, pouring off the excess. Add a clove of garlic to the pan then the blanched mustard greens. Stir-fry over a high heat for about a minute and add some unsalted chicken stock or water. Stir in a little soy sauce and cover the pan with the lid, lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mustard greens are tender.