Also known as “Bok Choy”, this is the ultimate stir-fry vegetable with a crisp stem and mild leaf. The leaves are similar to swiss chard and the stems can be used like celery.
Try cutting in half and grilling, or wilting with olive oil and garlic. A basic stir-fry would be to add Pac Choi to broccoli, kohlrabi, turnips, or carrots and stir-fry in vegetable or peanut oil in a wok, adding cooked rice at the end for a ‘fried-rice’ and vegetable dish.
Pac Choi & Broccoli with Roasted Garlic & Mushrooms
Adapted from Mollie Katzen’s “The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without”
The original recipe calls for “broccoli rabe”, but Broccoli works just as well.
3 Tbs canola or peanut oil
1 medium-sized bulbs garlic, roasted
1 head pac choi,
1/2 lb broccoli, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
10 medium-sized shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered.
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp minced or crushed fresh garlic
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Roasted whole cashews
Dark sesame oil
1. Roast garlic.
2. While garlic roasts, prepare pac choi (leaves chopped and stems in 1-inch pieces, kept separate) and broccoli. Add oil to a large skillet or wok and add onions and mushrooms.
3. After about 2 minutes, add pac choi stems and broccoli, sprinkling in the salt. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Toss in the pac choi leaves and about 1 1/2 Tbs water , then immediately cover the pan. Turn heat down and simmer for 2 more minutes…just until stems are tender and leaves wilted.
4. Add both fresh and roasted garlic, tossing gently. Cook and stir just a minute longer, season with salt and pepper and serve immediately with roasted cashews and dark sesame oil or chili oil.
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Three Pea (or Greens) Stir Fry
This recipe comes from the “Simply in Season” Cookbook, and instead of the 3 kinds of peas it calls for, you can substitute 12-16 loosely packed cups of stemmed and chopped fresh greens (think Spinach, Pac Choi, or Kale). After adding greens to the garlic, oil, ginger, and hot chilies, cover and cook until just wilted, about 5 minutes. Add water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar immediately before serving.
1 large clove garlic (minced)
1 Tbs ginger root (peeled, minced)
1/8-1/4 tsp crushed hot chilies
1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas (cut in 1-inch pieces)
1 1/2 cups snow peas (cut in 1-inch pieces)
1 cup peas
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame seed oil
Heat 1 Tbs oil in large frying pan over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Add ingredients and stir-fry until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add sugar snap and snow peas and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.
Add peas and stir-fry until hot, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Stir in soy sauce and sesame seed oil. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and salt to taste. Serve immediately.
Citrus Variation: Omit garlic, crushed dried chilies, soy sauce, sesame seed oil, and sesame seeds. Add 1/2 tsp grated orange peel with the sugar snap and snow peas.
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Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup with Boy Choy and Garlic Chives
This recipe gives details on making the chicken broth, so if you use canned broth or vegetable broth or mushroom broth, you can jump to the last part of the recipe.
3 1/2- to 4-pound whole chicken
8 thin slices fresh ginger root
1 bunch scallions, cut crosswise into thirds
10 cups water
3/4 cup Chinese rice wine or medium-dry Sherry
2 ounces dried rice-stick noodles (rice vermicelli)
1 bunch bok choy, leaves washed, drained, and chopped coarse
1 bunch thinly sliced fresh garlic chives
With a cleaver or heavy chef’s knife cut chicken into large pieces. Cut chicken through bones into 2-inch pieces. In a large kettle of boiling water blanch chicken 1 minute. In a colander drain chicken and rinse under cold water.
With flat side of cleaver or knife lightly smash ginger root and scallions. In cleaned kettle bring 10 cups water to a boil with chicken, ginger root, scallions, rice wine or Sherry and simmer, uncovered, skimming froth occasionally, 2 hours. Pour broth through colander lined with triple thickness of cheesecloth into a large heat proof bowl, reserving chicken for another use. Broth may be made 3 days ahead, cooled completely, uncovered, and chilled, covered.
In cleaned kettle bring broth to a boil. Add noodles and boil, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Stir in bok choy and simmer, stirring once or twice, until bok choy turns bright green and is just tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in chives and salt and pepper to taste and simmer 1 minute.