Thursday, April 24, 2008

More on Bok Choy

Pardon me if I want to share with you more information on Bok Choi. It is one of our family's favorite greens.

Bok Choy is the more international known name, derived from its Cantonese name. Locally, it is known as Pechay, derived from its Fookien name. This is not surprising since most of the Chinese people here in the Philippines come Fookien province in China.

You should have no trouble finding bok choy at the market all year round. There are several varieties but the most common in this side of the globe is pictured on the right. Bok Choy tastes clean, slightly sweet, and mild, without the 'earthy' taste and feel of other kinds of vegetables. That is why it is tasty in itself when cooked with simple soy sauce or oyster sauce. It is also very crispy when cooked properly. This is one of the first vegetables my children learned to love.

Look for a plant with firm stalks that is free of brown spots. Wrapped in paper towels or newspaper and stored in the vegetable crisper section of the refrigerator, bok choy should keep for up to a week. But you would want to consume it immediately because young ones are more tender. The older it gets, the more chewy and less tasty it becomes.

There are many ways to cook bok choy. You can add it to soups. You can simply steam it and dip it in desired sauce when you eat it. In my family, we usually stir fry it with soy sauce and lots of garic. Then we add a dash of sesame oil to make it more fragrant.

Before cooking a full-sized bok choy you'll want to separate the leaves from the stalks, as the thick stalks have a longer cooking time. You stir fry the stalks for a few minutes before cooking the leaves. You should cook the leaves until just wilted. Do not overcook this vegetable or it will lose its crispiness.

Alternately, you can blanch washed bok choy in a boiling pot of water then immediately dunk the drained veggies in a bowl of cold water before stir frying. This hot-cold treatment will give you 'greener' leaves and ensures the crispiness as well.

The Bok Choy is one of the easiet vegetable to cook. It is also one of the more delicious and nutritious too. For a bok choy recipe and more information on Bok Choy, please refer to my previous post or simply click here.

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