Sautéed Baby Bok Choy
When preparing baby bok choy, two main issues arise: cleaning the notoriously dirty vegetables and getting the stalks to achieve a perfectly tender-crisp texture before the leaves get too limp. Unlike mature bok choy, which is often chopped into small pieces for cooking, part of the allure of baby bok choy is showcasing its diminutive size. In this recipe, we struck a balance by cutting the bok choy in half lengthwise; this provided access to the areas where most of the dirt and grit typically hide so we could thoroughly clean them, and it helped the vegetables cook more evenly than if they were left whole. An initial stint of steaming gave the stems the head start they needed to soften slightly before sautéing.
- 2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil like canola
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and minced
- 1 ½- inch piece ginger root peeled and minced
- ¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes or to taste
- 4 bunches of baby bok choy approximately 1½ pounds, cleaned, with the ends trimmed
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or Hoisin Sauce
- 1 tablespoon chicken stock or water
- Toasted sesame oil for drizzling
- In a large sauté pan with a lid, heat oil over medium-high heat until it starts to shimmer. Add garlic, ginger and red-pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 45 seconds.
- Add bok choy and stir carefully to cover with oil, then cook for approximately 2 minutes. Add soy sauce, stock or water, then cover pan and cook for approximately 2 minutes more, until steam begins to escape from beneath the lid of the pan.
- Uncover and continue to cook until liquid is close to evaporated and stalks are soft to the touch, approximately 3 minutes more.
- Remove to a warmed platter and drizzle with sesame oil.
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