Monday, September 9, 2013

While we Wok: Bok Choy

    My path to becoming a master gardener offers me the opportunity to meet many people of many different walks of life, each one sharing a bit of themselves along the way. One sweet soul introduced me to the marvelous world of Asian greens. Her encouragement led me to turn a new row in my garden for the sole purpose of growing Tatsoi and bok choy. Today we meet a new member of our garden greens family: bok choy.

    Bok choy,  brassica chinensis, is a member of the cabbage family. It doesn't look anything like a cabbage. To me, bok choy more closely resembles Swiss chard in both appearance and flavor. As a green, it lends well to salad or saute readily absorbing and carrying any flavor you introduce.   

    Enough technical stuff. Let' fire up the wok. Today we gently saute the chopped bok, introducing gentle flavor with a hint of citrus. You will need: bok choy (1 head or three baby heads), an onion, dry cranberries, segmented oranges, oil, garlic/ginger seasoning and a little cooking sherry.

    Prep everything and set up near your stove top before lighting the fire. Get that wok smoking hot and drizzle a hint of your favorite oil down the sides, rolling the wok to coat it. Drop those onions in and toss them until they are nice and translucent before adding the bok choy. Toss and turn the bok a good 2 minutes giving it a light sear and a slight tenderness. Sprinkle in some garlic/ginger seasoning and toss again. Lightly drizzle cooking sherry down the sides of the wok and work the veggies along to fuse the flavors. Drop in the cranberries allowing them a minute to plump.

     Toss in the oranges and garnish with pecans, if desired. We added a bit of salt, as greens tend to need it. Plate it before your oranges get mushy and enjoy.
    This time we served our bok with a piece of baked salmon, however, it went wonderfully with Soba noodles and chicken (we tested that first:). In all honesty, bok choy is quite versatile in any dish you would use a green in. Even a simple saute with garlic and crushed red pepper turned out beautifully.
     My family's take on it? Well, the farm boy ate it without pause but did comment he would have left the oranges out  (not a fan of warm oranges). My husband gave me the 'I think it's cabbage' face and simple nibbled a bite to appease me. His comment- it's okay, but he's pretty sure it's cabbage (not a fan of cabbage). He didn't complain a bit though when it was tossed with those noodles the other day..of course, I hadn't told him what it was then.

No comments: