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Bok Choi (or bok choy or Chinese Cabbage) is thought to be the oldest of the Asian greens. The stalks are mild and crunchy and the leaves pleasantly tangy. The stalks and leaves have quite different textures and cooking times. Be sure to give the stems a minute or two to cook before you put the leaves in so that each part cooks to perfection. Store and clean boy choi as you would other greens.
Basic Bok Choi Stir-fry with Peanut Oil and Garlic
Yield: 2 servings
- 1 pound bok choi
- 2 Tb peanut oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- salt or soy sauce to taste
- Cut stems into 1-inch pieces and slice leaves coarsely.
- Heat wok or heavy frying pan. Pour oil in. Add stems and toss over moderately high heat until somewhat softened, about 2 minutes.
- Add sugar, garlic, salt and soy sauce. Add reserved leaves. Toss another 2 minutes. Serve.
Tofu salad with asparagus & bok choy
For this recipe you need a frying pan or wok that’s big enough to hold the vegetables and a seperate grill plate, electric grill, or non-stick frying pan to cook the tofu in.
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 4 oz. firm tofu, cut into thin slices
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 3 yellow squash, thinly sliced
- 1 head of bok choy, cut the base off and wash the leaves
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle
- 1/2 inch fresh ginger, finely sliced
- 1 teaspoon shoyu (or soy sauce)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vegetarian fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh coriander, finely chopped
- Sprinkle the sesame seeds onto a plate and press the tofu slices into the sesame seeds, to coat.
- Mix together all the dressing ingredients.
- Put both the frying pan and grill-plate on a medium high heat and brush with the olive oil.
- Put the tofu on the grill plate and cook for about 3 minutes each side, or until golden brown. The sesame seeds may hiss and spit, but don’t worry about this.
- At the same time put the asparagus and squash into the frying pan and toss to coat with the oil for about 30 seconds. Add the bok choy, scallions and ginger and again toss in the oil for a few seconds. Add two tablespoons of water and immediately cover with a lid. Leave to cook for about 3 minutes and then take the lid off and continue to cook for another 2 - 3 minutes.
- Pile the vegetables and tofu up on a plate and drizzle over the dressing.
The following info is excerpted from Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables: Seasonal Recipes and Stories from a Community Supported Farmby Farmer John Peterson & Angelic Organics (Gibbs Smith Publisher). Check with your local farm or bookstore for availability. Additional recipes, charts, signed copies of this book, and quantity discounts available at www.AngelicOrganics.com/cookbook.
Choi (also spelled choy) has been cultivated in China for centuries and is now commonly found in markets in the United States. Choi is practically two vegetables in one: the leaves can be cooked and eaten like spinach, while the crisp stems—sweet and mild in flavor—can be used like celery or asparagus.
Refrigerate unwashed choi in a plastic container or loosely wrapped in a plastic bag. Choi keeps for over a week but is firmest and tastiest if used within a few days.
Just before using, rinse choi under cold running water and gently shake it dry. Cut the stems into 1-inch pieces and slice, shred, or tear the leaves. If you will be eating the stems raw, slice or julienne them.
Choi with Gingery Butter
This sauce has characteristically Asian-inspired flavors, but this recipe uses butter instead of oil for added richness. Don’t be fooled by how simple this is; it is an interesting and wonderfully flavorful side dish. Angelic Organics Kitchen (adapted from Judy Gorman’s Vegetable Cookbook).
Serves 4 to 6
- 2 medium choi (any kind), sliced crosswise into 1-inch strips
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon grated or finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed (about 1/2 teaspoon)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
- freshly ground black pepper
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the choi; cook until the choi is tender but still crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the choi in a colander and immediately run under cold water. Drain well.
2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and choi; cook, stirring constantly, until the choi is well coated and heated through.
3. Remove the skillet from heat. Stir in the cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Creamy Choi Soup
This recipe takes the flavors of a Japanese clear vegetable soup and gives them a spin . . . in the blender . . . with a potato and a touch of sour cream. The soup ends up thick and slightly creamy—and, incidentally, a lovely shade of jade green. Friend of the Farm.
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1/2 cup chopped scallions (about 3 scallions), divided
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
- 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 pound choi (any kind), chopped
- 1 large potato, peeled, diced
- 3 cups vegetable stock or water
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper hot pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
1. Heat the peanut oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Set aside a couple tablespoons of scallions for a garnish. Add the remaining scallions, garlic, and ginger to the pot. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
2. Add the choi and potato. Pour in the stock or water and add the salt, pepper, and hot pepper flakes to taste. Increase the heat and bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer until the potato is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the pot from heat. Stir in the toasted sesame oil.
3. Transfer the soup to a food processor or a blender and purée. Ladle soup into individual bowls.
4. Garnish each bowl with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped scallion. Serve immediately.
Choi is a cool-weather crop that grows especially well in spring and fall. It is a kohl crop—related to cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli—but it doesn’t grow in tight heads. It looks more like white-stemmed chard. While chard is often harvested one leaf at a time, choi plants are cut just above the roots so all the leaves remain attached at the base.
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