Thursday, July 16, 2015

How to Prepare Bok Choy

When I was able to get a subscription to our local CSA box this summer, I made a pact with myself that I would not be afraid of any new vegetable. - There are new fruits too, but vegetables tend to be much scarier. 

I vowed that I would use zucchini happily no matter how much I was given. That I would squeeze every drop of summer and freshness and nutrition that way coming my way. 

And with that promise in mind .. I bring you... The first "My First" vegetable of the season (first box even... ) 

Bok Choy

I have never used bok choy before. I have heard of it, sure, but I don't think I have ever eaten it, maybe I have and I just don't remember. I am positive that I have never cooked with it before. 

No problem though, the internet is full of people who want to help us know more about the food we are eating (not always a good thing) and lots of videos and tutorials on how to prepare it. 

Since you'll already here... Here's how I did it. 

Break the stalks apart and wash it up. Be sure you not only rinse the leaves well, but scrub the stalks - use a vegetable brush if you need to.  Pretty much you just use your lettuce washing experience and your celery washing skills. Done!

Then you need to separate your leaves from your stalks - from here on out... you are pretty much dealing with two distinct vegetable styles.

Chop your stalks and then chop your leaves. I wasn't too worried about cutting them the same size since I was going to be cooking them for different amounts of time, but I did want the leaves to be small enough to be "bite-sized" when I ate them... so I wasn't trying to slurp into my mouth a huge banana leaf piece of bok choy. 

Add to your heated pan 1 TB either olive oil or sesame oil. - The sesame oil gives the dish of a lot of Asian flavor.  And some minced garlic to your taste - you know, I added a lot. 

Cook the garlic just a little bit to take the edge off the sharp flavor and then add your bok choy stems.  You are going to want to saute them for 5-6 minutes.  Think about... "how long would I cook this if it were celery"

Once your stems are slightly tender you are going to want to add your greens. - And then the you'll see a show we'll call, The Incredible Shrinking Greens. 

This is going to happen pretty quickly, so just gently toss and stir them until they become bright green and just wilted - this will leave you with tender flavorful leaves / greens, instead of slimy stringy school lunch spinach.

I served it over rice, but you can add it to a stir fry. If you add grilled chicken it can be a hearty meal. I tossed a few green onions and a dash or two of ginger in at the end.

I think Bok Choy and I are going to be very good friends.