May 3, 2009

Bok Choy

Today's exotic ingredient is Bok Choy.

Bok Choy? What the heck is that, you ask? As you can guess from the name, bok choy comes from China, which is why it is sometimes called Chinese Cabbage. To me, it tastes like a blend of cabbage and celery.

It is certainly not a staple in most American households, but bok choy is becoming more and more common in the markets. We can get it any time at Whole Foods. There are over 20 varieties of this plant, but we typically find only two here in the states. One simply called bok choy and another called "baby" bok choy. These are actually two different varieties, and not a juvenile and an adult version of the same thing. We prefer the "baby" variety because it can be cooked whole and has better texture and taste.

Presented here is a simple dish with bok choy. Unlike most Americanized Chinese food, this dish is not swimming in a sauce. In fact, there really is no sauce. It is a mix of bok choy and red kidney beans. Any moisture comes from the bok choy as it cooks. You can spice it up as much as you like in the end; I like to splash on some tamari and about ½ teaspoon of hot chili oil.

Chinese Beans and Greens


1 T sesame oil
1 T fresh ginger root, grated
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 ½ lbs bok choy
1 c cooked red kidney beans
tamari and hot chili oil to taste


1. In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil. Saute the giner and garlic briefly.

2. Stir in the bok choy and stir fry for 1 minute.

3. Add the beans. Cover and cook until the greens are crisp tender and the beans are heated through.

4. Season with tamari and chili oil to taste. Serve hot over rice.

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