Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bok Choy - A New Addition to Our Vegetable Plate!

Written by Jonathon Gliss, WYG youth worker, gardener, and chef extradoinaire. Last installment of Jonathon's Vegetable of the Month blog installments.

Bok Choy (Chinese cabbage) has been cultivated and grown in many parts of Canada and the US. Bok Choy is also grown in Europe where it was introduced in the 1700's. It is available year round, except in July and August, and it is best when purchased in the fall and winter. Currently, you can buy Bok Choy in many ethnic grocery stores and in many larger supermarket chains. Because Bok Choy is a member of the cabbage family, it is becoming, and can be used in many recipes either raw, as in salads, or cooked for use in soups and in stir-fries, like cabbage. Baby Bok Choy is best when cooked whole and used as a side dish to a meat entrée. However, when cooking mature Bok Choy, do not cook it whole. Instead, first remove its leaves from their stalks and cut the stalks into pieces. Next, take the leaves that were removed and cut them into pieces as well. Bok Choy stalks and leaves are edible. You can also eat the raw stalks of both the baby and mature plants. The following is a Bok Choy stir fry recipe that will certainly add excitement to your vegetable plate.

Bok Choy Stir Fry Recipe
1 1/2 pounds Bok Choy or baby Bok Choy1 1/2 tablespoons canola, vegetable or peanut oil1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger3 tablespoons broth or water (or 2 tablespoons broth/water + 1 tablespoon wine)salt to taste1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1. Start by trimming the stem off – don’t trim too much – just the end. Cutting the thick stem off will ensure that the Bok Choy cooks evenly. Separate out the leaves, keep the tender center intact and clean under running water. Drain.
2. Finely mince garlic and grate fresh ginger with a grater.
3. Place wok or frying pan on your stove and pour in the cooking oil. Add the garlic and ginger. Turn the heat to medium-high. Let the ginger and garlic gently sizzle in the oil. When the aromatics become fragrant and light golden brown, add the Bok Choy leaves. Toss very well to coat each leaf with the garlicky, gingery oil for 15 seconds. Pour in broth, water or wine. Immediately cover and let cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and drizzle a bit of sesame oil on top.


3 tbsp. salad oil1 head Bok Choy, washed, trimmed, & cut into 1" pieces1/4 c. packed brown sugar1/2 tsp. minced fresh ginger root1 tbsp. cornstarch1 sliced sweet onion1 tbsp. soy sauce1/4 c. red wine vinegar
Heat oil in large skillet, add Bok Choy and onion. Cook and stir over high heat 1 minute. Blend sugar, vinegar and ginger; add to skillet. Mix well. Cover and steam for 1 minute. Combine soy sauce and cornstarch with 1/2 cup water. Add to skillet. Cook and stir until thickened. Makes 4 to 6 servings.


5 cups of Bok Choy cabbage, chopped into 1" - 1 1/2" pieces1 bunch green onions, chopped, green & all

1/2 c. oil1/4 c. cider vinegar1/2 tsp. salt2 tbsp. soy sauce1/2 c. sugar
Mix dressing ingredients well before adding to cabbage. Mix cabbage and dressing and refrigerate before serving.

1 (13 3/4 oz.) can clear chicken broth2 tbsp. soy sauce2 tbsp. cornstarch1 tsp. garlic powder1/2 - 1 tsp. tarragon4 tbsp. peanut oil2 lbs. chicken breasts, skinned, boned & cut up8 oz. snow pea pods3-4 stalks of Bok Choy, sliced2 carrots, sliced thinly1/2 med. onion, chopped
Combine chicken, broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, garlic powder and tarragon. Stir until free of lumps and set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in wok or heavy pan. Add chicken and cook quickly over high heat. Remove chicken and set aside. Add 2 more tablespoons oil to pan, add vegetables and cook until tender. Add cornstarch mixture and cook until sauce is thickened. Add chicken. Serve over rice. Makes 4 servings.

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