Thursday, October 11, 2012

Bok Choy Stir Fry

Tasting half way between celery and cabbage, leafy bok choy makes a crunchy and tender stir fry. And it steams quickly -- it's ready to eat in barely 5 minutes.

For my latest recipe I use my typical stir fry sauce of soy and oyster sauce. Bok choy has a subtle taste, but can handle intense Chinese flavors well.

Bok choy is showing up more at regular chain grocery stores. I picked up bok choy cheaply at Bangkok Market on Melrose Avenue, in East Hollywood. If you are looking for cheaply priced Thai noodles, chile and fish sauces, herbs and veggies, this is a great market. So you now have another reason to visit your local ethnic food stores. You can read what Yelpers say about Bangkok Market by clicking here.

Bok Choy can be simply steamed in water or a favorite broth, or made it the 99 Cent Chef stir-fry way.

  • 1 1/2 pounds bok choy - about 3 to 5 whole ones, depending on size.
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger - okay to use powered ginger.
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic - fresh or from jar.
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water or a favorite broth
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch or flour
  • Sweetener - to taste, optional.
  • 1 teaspoon oil - for cooking ginger and garlic.
  • Pepper to taste - no salt necessary as soy sauce has plenty.

Peel about a one inch square of ginger and slice into matchstick sizes, then chop. Peel and chop one clove of garlic. Total is about one teaspoon each. Fresh ginger has a paper thin skin that comes off easily by scrapping it away with a metal spoon.

Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a wok or pan over medium heat, and add chopped ginger and garlic. Saute for a couple of minutes - stop when garlic just starts to lightly brown. Carefully add 1/4 of water or broth.

Trim off any tough and browned root end. Trim off any old bok choy leaves if necessary. Okay to split each bok choy lengthways in half if you want to, to speed up steaming.

Add bok choy to water. Bok choy cooks quickly, so you only need to cover and steam it for about 5 minutes. If the bok choy are on the small side, you can steam them uncovered.

While bok choy are steaming make the stir fry sauce. Add soy sauce and oyster sauce to a small bowl. Sprinkle in 1 teaspoon of cornstarch, or flour, and mix until dissolved. Add a little sweetener (to taste) if you like.

After bok choy is steamed tender push it to the edge of the wok and add stir fry sauce to steaming liquid, mixing well. After a minute or two the sauce will thicken into a gravy.

Coat bok choy with stir fry sauce and serve warm.

If you don't have Oyster Sauce, try adding a small amount of your favorite sweetener, like a teaspoon of sugar or honey to easy-to-find soy sauce and cornstarch. (Use 2 tablespoons of soy sauce.) If you have a favorite Teriyaki Sauce then use that. You could also leave out the ginger.

I've also made it simply steamed in a little veggie or chicken stock (a bouillon cube dissolved in water.)

For a couple of my Oriental recipes to pair the Bok Choy Stir Fry with, just click on the entree names: Sweet and Sour Pork or Japanese Pork Cutlet.

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