Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bok Choy #1

I just invented the most awesome recipe from a freshly picked bok choy given to me by my gardening friend, Ed.
Ed has planted a lot of Chinese vegetables in his plot for his family to use, and when he gave me my bok choy he pointed out that they often make two different meals out of the same plant: soup from the stems and a stir fry from the leaves. I wasn't in the mood to make soup during these bright days of May, but my brain started thinking....I don't have to make soup, but I could still use two different recipes from the different parts of the plant.
Oh-and he said to "toss" the flowers also since they are a delicacy. In a salad? I asked. No, to cook them. Of course, I don't have a wok or any other fancy cooking vessels. I just have a basic, stainless steel pan. I'm not brave enough to toss.
After reading a few recipes, I decided to start chopping and make some decisions later. As I chopped, I mulled over what I had read and decided to plunder my supplies and start categorizing some ingredients into two camps: salady & sweet; nutty & meaty (I didn't have any meat, so think "hearty supper dish".) Here's what I came up with for Salady & Sweet:
-Green leaves cut from stem of bok choy and sliced into slivers
-Various small stems and pieces from central stem
-Yellow bok choy flowers
-Ginger powder
-Lemon grass
-1/2 red onion sliced
-Two small red pears cubed and slathered with lime juice
-Grape seed oil
Oil, lemon grass and ginger powder went into the pan first over a low flame with a cast iron heat diffuser between the pan and the stovetop. Onions and stems came next with flowers following soon after.
Then I covered it all with a lid and let it simmer while I washed the dishes.
After everything was sizzling nicely and sending out nice smells, I added the greens by the handfuls and smooshed them down into the pan with the lid. After a several seconds, the greens reduced a bit and I was able to turn the leaves into the earlier ingredients (all nice and slurpy by now.)
After about a minute, I turned off the heat and spooned the whole colorful and lovely melange into two bowls - one for me and one for the fridge!
I dubbed myself a genius and moved on to the next challenge: Nutty & Meaty!

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