|Beef and Bok Choy. Sorry for the phone photo, I couldn't find the real camera.|
As promised earlier, my kids and I are trying new vegetables this year. I now present our first one: Bok Choy! Ta-Da! I have eaten bok choy before at various Asian restaurants, but had never cooked it myself. However, it was easy to cook and got good reviews from my kids (more about those later). The recipe I was looking at was only for the bok choy itself, so I added to the recipe to include some beef. You could just as easily use chicken or pork and not change anything else, so feel free to substitute.
First, about buying bok choy. There are a few varieties of bok choy, but the major difference you need to know about is the difference between regular bok choy and baby bok choy. The baby kind is small (about 6-inches tall) while the regular bok choy is much bigger (mine was about 15-inches!). For this recipe you'll want to buy the big kind. If you buy the little kind you won't have anything to cut off and it will cook totally differently.
And with that, the recipe...
Beef with Bok Choy
Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated
1 lb steak, chicken, or pork
1/2 cup soy sauce, divided
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons peanut oil (or you can use canola or vegetable oil)
1 medium head bok choy (1 1/2 - 2 lbs)
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger root
First, to prepare the meat, slice against the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices. In a ziplock bag combine all but 2 tablespoons of soy sauce with the minced garlic; add meat and let marinate about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the bok choy. Chop off the bottom inch of the bok choy, then separate and wash all the leaves. Pat each leaf dry, then cut the green leafy part away from the white stalk part. Slice each stalk in half lengthwise, then crosscut into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Set aside. Pile all the green leaf parts on top of each other and cut into 1/2-inch wide strips. Cross cut if desired. Keep the chopped greens and stalks separate.
In a small bowl, combine remaining 2 Tbs soy sauce with 1 tsp sugar and set aside.
Heat 1 Tbs oil in large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add meat, discarding the remaining marinade, and stir-fry until just cooked, about 3-5 minutes. Remove meat into serving bowl and wipe skillet with a paper towel. Pour remaining 2 Tbs oil into skillet and heat until almost smoking. Add the bok choy stalks and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the leafy part of the bok choy, meat, and the soy sauce mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until leaves are wilted, about 1 minute.
Serve immediately, over rice or noodles.
My husband and I liked this dish pretty well.
My kids rated this dish as follows:
E (age 7): Bok choy stalks, 9/10; bok choy leaves, 10/10; meat, 10/10; everything together, 10/10.
J (age 6): Bok choy stalks, 19/20; bok choy leaves, 19/20; meat, 18/20; everything together, 19/20.
E (age 4): Bok choy stalks and leaves, yuck; meat, good; everything together, no thank you.
G (age 2): Chocolate, please?