Photo credit: Thadah Wah
Bok Choy is a common type of Asian green. It has a thick, crunchy stem that is delicious sautéed or stir-fried. Most varieties of Asian greens have a stem that is tender and good to eat, unlike collards or kale, where you remove the rib. They are tasty with garlic, ginger, and chilies in a stir-fry, curried with coconut milk, or cooked in broth. If you'd rather not go in an Asian direction, then just pretend they're broccoli raab or spinach and make this green panini or this go-to pasta with greens and garlic.
To prepare, simply chop the stems or ribs into bite-sized pieces and then chop the leaves into long ribbons. Keep the two separate. Mince a big clove or two of garlic. If you want a little heat, also mince a hot chili or add a small pinch of dried chili flakes. Minced ginger is also delicious.
Heat your wok or skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add a generous glug of oil and then add your stems. Cook, stirring for a minute or two, before adding your minced garlic. Stir again to keep from overcooking the garlic and immediately add your chopped greens. Continue to stir for several more minutes or until the greens and stems are tender. Remove from heat, taste for salt, and toss with any seasoning (tamari, toasted sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, etc). Serve right away.
STORAGE: Store bok choy unwashed in a plastic bag or air tight container with a paper towel or a tea towel. Stored this way in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator, bok choy should last 4-6 days. You can also freeze bok choy and save it for later use!
RECIPE: Rachael’s Black Pepper Tofu and Bok Choy
Dice or grate ginger and garlic into tiny bits and cut tofu into roughly 1 inch cubes. Put tofu into a bowl and add cornstarch and salt and toss to coat tofu. Heat oil in a large skillet at medium high and place tofu in a single layer to cook, turning after a few minutes so each side gets golden brown. Once cooked, transfer tofu from the pan to a plate. Reduce heat to medium and add more oil if necessary. Add peppercorns and cook until it begins smelling really good (1-2 min). Add bok choy, garlic, and ginger and cook until the bok choy is tender (3-5 min). Add tofu back to the pan, add soy sauce and sugar and cook until the sauce thickens, roughly 3 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and add rice vinegar.