Wawa in Mandarin means "baby"; in this case it refers to baby Chinese cabbage, also known as wombok or Napa cabbage. Sweet, crunchy and ultra-tender, these cabbages are barely larger than your hand and weigh 300gm-600gm each. In the hands of a Sichuan cook, this humble vegetable takes on stunning smoky-wok flavours. The trick is to toss the cabbage constantly while stir-frying, maintaining heat control, and not to add any water. Tina Li uses Knorr chilli liquid seasoning for this dish but says it's optional.
Note Baby Chinese cabbages are available from select supermarkets and Chinese greengrocers.