Baby Bok Choy, Sautéed and Steamed
A cruciferous vegetable, the word bok choy stems from the Chinese “bai” (white) and “cai” (cabbage). Nutrient-rich, bok choy is believed to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
On a recent visit to Druknya House, the newly-opened Tibetan restaurant in Charlottesville, I ordered the bok choy and was not disappointed. Delicious and tasting of butter, I was unable to ascertain how it had actually been prepared. My personal experience with bok choy had been to sauté or steam it quickly, but I had not achieved the amount of flavor that I experienced at Druknya House, so I began to play around with various recipes. My resulting combination of stir-frying and steaming does not include butter, but is packed with low-calorie flavor. By adding leftover tofu with soy-ginger sauce and some brown rice to a helping of this tasty bok choy, I enjoyed a completely satisfying and nutritious meal.
I believe the secrets to the recipe below are two-fold: ONE, begin with a cold pan and TWO, steam briefly after sautéing. A simply delicious side dish.
2 Tablespoons cooking oil
2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
1″ knob of ginger, peeled and grated
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 bunches baby bok choy
Salt to taste
1/4 cup chicken broth or water
Soy sauce or toasted sesame oil, optional
Lemon, cut in wedges
- In a cold pan, combine cooking oil with garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes.
- As the pan begins to get hot and the ingredients begin to sizzle, add the bok choy all at once. Sprinkle liberally with salt. Brown lightly on one side; turn and brown the other side (total of about 4-5 minutes).
- Add chicken broth or water to the pan. Cover and steam for about 2 minutes.
- Remove pan lid and continue to cook until liquid evaporates.
- Drizzle with soy sauce or toasted sesame oil if desired.
- Serve with a wedge of lemon for the finishing touch.