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Posts Tagged ‘bok choy’

Have you ever seen a more beautiful example of bok choy  than the ones we had in our boxes on Saturday? They were huge!

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Beautiful bok choy!

I did some research on this veggie also known as leafy Chinese cabbage or pak choi. It is one of the popular mainland crops in China, Philippines, Vietnam and other oriental regions, but has captured popularity even in the western world for its sweet, succulent nutritious leaves and stalks. Fresh bok choy supplies all sorts of important vitamins and antioxidants.

Store whole bok-choy in the vegetable compartment inside the refrigerator set at high relative humidity. If stored appropriately, it stays fresh for up to 3-4 days without the loss of much of nutrients. However, bok choy is more nutritious, sweeter, and flavorful when used fresh.

Crispy, sweet bok choy stalks can be eaten raw, added to salads, sandwiches, and burgers.

  • Its stalks can be used with cabbage in coleslaw.
  • Baby bok choy can be a very attractive addition to salads and stir-fries.
  • In China and other East Asian regions, it is used much like cabbage in stew fries with added onion, garlic, bell pepper, and green chillies mixed with steamed rice and soy/chilli/tomato sauce to prepare chow mein.

I usually just chop and sauté this leafy veggie with onion and garlic and serve as a side, similar to greens. This time, I wanted to serve it raw, so I “googled” and came up with a Martha Stewart recipe. You can’t go wrong with ol’ Martha!

WHAT YOU NEED:       

4 teaspoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

3/4 teaspoon sugar

5 cups sliced, raw bok choy (any type; about 1 1/2 pounds)

2 tablespoons chopped cashews

WHAT YOU DO:

 Prepare dressing: whisk together rice vinegar, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and sugar in a bowl.

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for the dressing!

 

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Whisk briskly to dissolve sugar!

Prepare bok choy: cut off root end and separate stalks. Rinse well to remove sandy soil. Chop into bite-size pieces. The recipe calls for 5 cups of chopped bok choy. I measured and got 7 cups, so I prepared the dressing recipe using one and a half times the ingredients.

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Slice and chop washed bok choy for a raw salad.

Toss the raw bok choy with the dressing.

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Asian flavored dressing!

Top with 2 tablespoons chopped cashews. As you can tell from the photo, I used quite a bit more cashews than that! I love a crunch to my salad, and those cashews added a wonderful saltiness and crunch indeed!

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Salty cashews add crunch!

I’ve started taking these CSA blog recipes to our Sunday Life Group meals and get great feedback from those willing taste-testers. This recipe got high marks, even though not one of them had ever eaten raw bok choy! I enjoyed this new way of preparing bok choy!

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Bok Choy, a member of the cabbage family

I don’t have too much experience with this vegetable. I’ve eaten it in Chinese food, but I don’t have variations in my recipe box to whip out and whip up. Last year I made this recipe. When I was looking for another variation, I read that this veggie goes by many names: Bok choy, bak choi, paak choi, Chinese chard cabbage and Chinese mustard cabbage. It resembles celery although it is actually a member of the cabbage family. It has thick, white stalks and dark green leaves that have a round shape.

Cooks are embracing it because of its nutritional value. One half cup of raw bok choy contains only 10 calories. It contains no fat or cholesterol, is a good source of calcium, is low in sodium and high in vitamins C and A. Because both bok choy’s stalks and leaves can be used in salads, it also provides a delicious and healthy meal for those who are on a diet.

And it’s easy to prepare!  You need only wash and chop it and then quickly steam or braise with your favorite seasonings. I found this recipe which seemed easy enough, so I chopped up my bok choy and got after it!

WHAT YOU NEED:

2 teaspoons canola or olive oil

8-ounce package sliced mushrooms

2 shallots, minced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 1/2 pounds bok choy, rinsed and chopped into 1-inch pieces

2 teaspoons “lite” soy sauce

1 teaspoon lemon zest

Freshly ground pepper to taste

WHAT YOU DO:

Wash bok choy and chop.

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Chopping!

In a large skillet or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, shallots and garlic and stir-fry until mushrooms darken, about 5 minutes. (I used a red onion and onion tops from Rose Creek Farms since that is what I had on hand.)

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Sauté-ing!

Add bok choy and stir-fry for about 8 to 10 minutes until tender.

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Add bok choy to sautéed ingredients.

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Flavor enhancers!

Sprinkle with soy sauce, lemon zest and pepper, to taste.
 

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Lemon zest adds brightness!

I served this as a side dish with our supper of meat loaf and potatoes. It would pair very nicely with  some brown rice.

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Mushrooms add a meatiness to bok choy.

 

 

 

 

 

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A new item in our boxes this morning!

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Bok choy!

Cultivated in China since ancient times, bok choy is found in soups and stir-fries, appetizers and main dishes. Bok choy’s popularity comes from its light, sweet flavor, crisp texture and nutritional value. Not only is bok choy high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and calcium, but it is low in calories.

Years ago I had a wok when we were on a Chinese food kick. We even made our own egg rolls, but it’s been a long time since I’ve cooked with bok choy. I scanned several recipes, looking for a quick recipe which would let this veggie shine, and I found this one. I’ve tweaked it to make the spices fit the 8 oz. bag in my CSA box.

WHAT YOU NEED:

1 slice bacon, chopped

olive oil

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1 small clove garlic, minced

scant 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

8 oz bag bok choy

salt to taste

WHAT YOU DO:

Wash and prep bok choy. I filled a bowl with water, swished around to dislodge any dirt, and then broke the stems off. Wash carefully to remove trapped dirt.

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Wash carefully to remove trapped dirt.

Recipe reviewers said to cook the stems separate from the leaves as they take longer, so I did that. I cut the leaves away and stacked them to slice. I made a separate pile of the stems.

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stems and leaves

I chopped the stems into fairly large pieces. I rolled the stack of leaves and cut ribbons.

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chopped!

I chopped the onion and minced the garlic while the bacon fried until crisp. Remove bacon pieces to drain, saving bacon grease. The recipe says to remove most of the bacon grease and add olive oil. I chose to use just smoky bacon grease for more flavor.

To the hot bacon grease, add red pepper flakes, onion, and salt and cook until onion begins to tender.

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Sauté red onion and red pepper flakes.

Add minced garlic, stirring to keep garlic from burning. Now add the bok choy stems, stir, cover and cook for two minutes over medium heat. Next, add the sliced leaves, cover and cook for 2 more minutes.

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Add leaves after cooking stems for 2 minutes.

Remove lid and check for tenderness in the stems. You want them to retain some of their crispness. At this point, I added the chopped bacon and cooked for 2 more minutes with the lid off. At the end of that time, the bok choy was tender crisp!

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Bacon-y Bok Choy!

Some reviewers said the red pepper flakes made the dish too spicy. I didn’t find that to be the case, but adjust to suit your taste.

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