Sunday, March 25, 2007

Bok Choy

Sometimes when I cook vegetables, I like to keep it simple, just a quick stir fry with a bit of salt. Nothing else, no garlic, ginger, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, etc. etc. Just oil and salt. This way it keeps the flavors clean and refreshing. There are so many varieties of bok choy it's sometimes hard to keep them straight. The kind of bok choy I most often use is baby bok choy, the variety with light green instead of white stalks. When it comes to most Chinese vegetables, bigger isn’t always better, the smaller ones are sweeter and more tender. Even in the same plant, I find that the inner leaves are much sweeter and tastier than the outer ones.

There are also many ways to cut bok choy. Some prefer to chop the leaves and separate the greens from the stalks since the leaves cook faster. Others like to cut the entire bok choy in half lengthwise or in quarters and cook it in large segments. What I like to do is take each leaf and slice down lengthwise to get about 1/2 in strips, leaf intact. I think it’s prettier this way and it’s more manageable to eat than a huge quarter segment.

Stir fried Bok Choy
Bok choy (1 head per person)
1 tsp vegetable oil per 2 bunches bok choy

Wash each leaf to get rid of the dirt, especially in the spoon-like area in the bottom. Slice 2 or 3 times lengthwise down the leaf for strips.

Heat oil in a wok or nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the bok choy and salt; cook stirring frequently. Cook until all the leaves are wilted then for another 1 minute and serve.

Check out Elise's Baby Bok Choy with Sherry and Prosciutto recipe.

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