Monday, August 25, 2008

Stir Fried Baby Bok Choy

Aren't these babies adorable? A whole Bok Choy stalk fits snugly in my hand. I have not seen such fresh babies for a long time. At least, not here in Manila. Maybe now, there are some innovative farms that are starting to plant these babies. The last time I have seen these veggies were in Taiwan many years ago. If I remember right, it was called "Spoon vegetable" Tang Zhr Cai in Taiwan. Maybe we have to confirm wih Tigerfish... I am really thrilled to receive these babies from my pretty neighbor :) Many thanks J!

Bok Choy is actually derived from the Cantonese Chinese name. In Mandarin, it is often called Bai Cai or Qin Jiang Cai. There are of course several varieties of Bok Choy, but we love all of them! Simply sauteed or stir-fried, they taste mildly sweet and crunchy. It is the first vegetable that my kids learned to love.

And baby bok choy are pretty darn irresistible. Aside from being cute, (which is a big factor for my kids,) these babies are more tender, and milder in taste. They have more leaf than stem ( which is a big factor for Hubby who like to see more greens.) They are also easier to prepare. You can cook them whole.

Bok choy, which belongs to the cabbage family, contains the cancer-thwarting compound common to cruciferous foods. It is also a viable vegetable source of beta-carotene, calcium and folate. Again, like most veggies, nutrients are lost when you cook them for a long time. That is why, it is important to shorten the cooking time to one or two minutes. Besides, veggies are yummier when half-cooked!

around 300 gms Baby Bok choy, washed
3 T canola oil or peanut oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 slices ginger
3 T dried shrimp-fry (Hebi), soaked in hot water for 1 hour
1 T soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat up the cooking oil in a wok or skillet. Saute the ginger until fragrant and turns golden. Add in the garlic and saute until fragrant but not burnt.

2. Add in the soaked shrimp fry (discard water). Add in the soy sauce. Mix up everything in the pan.

3. Make sure the wok or pan is very hot. Add in the baby bok choy. Stir fry quickly, around one minute until all the bok choy are coated with the sauce. Dish up immediately and serve hot.

If you do not have the dried shrimps, you can substitute with a little ground pork, or even fresh shrimps or any meat or seafood to flavor the dish. Or even adding some dashes of oyster sauce or fish sauce can already make this dish superb. Baby Bok Choy can stand alone in taste and does not require much seasoning. This yummy veggie can be a side dish to a meat entree or this can already be the main entree (ulam) paired with fried or plain rice.

This is my entry to the Weekend Herb Blogging, a world-wide foodie event where bloggers can feature herb or unique plant ingredients and the dishes we cook with them. Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen launched this popular foodie event, and this week's host is Katie of Thyme for Cooking. To see last week's beautiful round-up, please check out Srivalli from Cooking 4 All Seasons.


eatingclubvancouver_js said...

Baby bok choys are one of my favourites. They're so cute and pretty. I can have stir-fried bok choy everyday, like this one.

lubnakarim06 said...

I tagged u. Check my blog.

Katie Zeller said...

Those are adorable! I've never seen them. I'm so anxious to get settled in our new area to see if they have a wider variety or produce.... I want these!

Soli Deo Gloria said...

Baby bok choys are not the usual vegetables in this country too! :)

Unknown said...

ohoho actually i like most of my veggies soft...or even mushy T_T say good bye to vitamins

Oggi said...

Baby bok choys regularly appear on our dining table. We love them simply stir-fried or steamed.

Kalyn Denny said...

You are so lucky to get those adorable baby bok choy. I've hardly ever seen them here. Sounds delicious!

Katerina said...

These look amazing! I love anything that uses dried shrimp. I like the babies too but they are a bit of a pain to wash.

Soli Deo Gloria said...

Rita, with not so young veggies, I have to cook them soft and mushy. But for tender young veggies, half-cooked is a must! or they lose their "crunchiness." :)

Oggi and Eating Club Vancouver, at least you are lucky, baby bok choys are available in your place anytime. Here, it is a real treat to find them.

Kalyn, really? I thought all kinds of vegetables are easily accessible in a first world country? Of course I understand it is seasonal, but still roads and transport of goods are more accessible.

Katerina, I usually soak the babies in a basin of water and change the water at least two times to loosen the dirt. Simply shake off excess water and the dirt comes off with it. :)

Anonymous said...

Love this vegetable. It's all about the texture of those stalks for me

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