Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Quick bok choi

Today was the first pickup at our summer CSA. (It also might be a year ago today that I started this blog -- can that really be?!) I participated, a little, in a new member orientation that was instituted this year, and Ellie, one of the growers, pitched this blog (Thanks, Ellie!) And then I had a conversation with a new member about what to do with bok choi -- I sort of rattled off a "recipe," but told her (hi, Debbie!) that I'd put one up here.

1 bunch bok choi (these bunches were huge -- maybe a pound?)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 large-garlic-clove-size piece of fresh ginger, minced
2 T soy sauce
1 (scant) T rice vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 heaping T corn starch
1 T canola oil mixed with 1 tsp Asian sesame oil

The biggest trouble I have with bok choi is how watery it can be. I think I came up with a solution. I chopped the leaves, but kept the stems separate, and cooked them first. Also, I used plenty of corn starch in the sauce.

Note: as you can see from the pictures, I wasn't super-careful about keeping the stems and leaves separate. It doesn't really matter; just be sure you get most of the stems separated.

Heat the canola and sesame oils in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the stems and cook, tossing or stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, until they're tender (try a piece -- you don't want it soggy, but you want it to cook down a bit and let that excess water cook off.)

Add the green part of the leaves as well as the ginger and garlic. Continue tossing/stirring for another 3 or 4 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and corn starch and stir well.

Give the sauce an extra stir right before adding it to the skillet of greens. Stir constantly to coat all the bok choi with sauce and let the sauce thicken (about 30 seconds?), then remove from heat and serve.

Edited to add: We get a *lot* of bok choi, so I reprised this a few days later. This time I used Loriva brand roasted peanut oil combined with canola to cook with, and drizzled on a couple of teaspoons of toasted sesame oil at the end. I also increased the amount of sauce I made to accommodate the cooked soba noodles I tossed in to make a meal out of it.

Next up, maybe, fried rice with bok choi.

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