Have you every gotten carried away at the supermarket and bought something that is a little out of your cooking comfort zone? This happens to me when the whole place seems to exude freshness at every turn, when every display and every shelf looks colorful and inviting. I once arrived home with an African cucumber because my son begged me to buy it, and, there it sat on the counter-top that evening, while I sat looking at it flummoxed!
Well, while baby bok choy is not in the same league as the African cucumber, it certainly has a way of making people feel a little confused about how to cook it. Most people think it is more for Asian cooking, buying it to add a little something different to a stir-fry. I say it can be used like any other green veggie, and can even be served whole with fried sausages and mashed potatoes. At least that is how I served it the other night!
I love bok choy. It has a great refreshing crunchy stem and the leaves, when cooked, are rich and silky smooth in your mouth. I am pretty typical in that I use it in stir-fry dishes but I also love to cook it and chop it into mashed potatoes for the Irish dish Colcannon (instead of cooked green cabbage) and finally, I love to cook it whole in a little broth in the oven or on the stove top. It works especially well if it is baby bok choy (just a smaller version) and everyone gets to enjoy their very own. Presenting it like this makes it feel very special and no one loves to see this coming to the table more than my kids.
Time to give this not-so-common vegetable a try!
*This is a great Blood Type A Diet recipe!*
You will need:
4 to 6 baby bok choy, left whole
1 shallot, chopped (if you don’t have a shallot, the recipe will still work!)
2 cups veggie or chicken stock (or water and good quality bouillon cube)
2 or 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs soy sauce (see note at end of recipe for a note about this)
2 tbs mirin (see note at end of recipe for a note about this)
*If you are going to cook on the stove top you have to use a saute pan. you can use either a saute pan or a casserole dish if you cook in the oven*
Preheat oven 400* (no need if cooking on stove top)
1 – Saute the chopped shallot in a little olive oil until it has softened (about 5 minutes). Use a saute pan big enough to hold all the bok choy snugly or you can saute the shallot in a small pan and transfer to a casserole for the rest of the dish.
2 – Add the stock, soy and mirin to the pan (or transfer shallots to a casserole and continue with the recipe) and add the bok choy in a single layer placing each one in the opposite direction to the one beside it (cooks more evenly that way!). Drizzle with 2 tbs of oil and cover with a lid or tin foil. Place in preheated oven for 20 minutes or cover with lid and simmer on stove top for 20 minutes.
Serve with anything you like. We had it with sausages and mashed potatoes, but it can be served with whatever main course you cook.
Note: You can omit the soy and mirin if you want a cleaner taste. Just make sure to season with salt and pepper.