Baby Bok Choy
Store pre-washed and spun greens in a ziplock bag or plastic container lined with a dry paper towel in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Excess moisture causes rot. Will perish more quickly if stored wet in a plastic bag.
Fill a large bowl or dishpan with cold water. Add greens and swirl around vigorously. All the dirt and sand will sink to the bottom. Lift greens out of basin and into a salad spinner or colander. Spin greens to dry or drain as best you can and dry on towels.
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- ¾ lb baby bok choy, halved lengthwise
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 2 medium scallions, sliced thin
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
Combine the soy sauce, stock, vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar in small bowl. Heat half the vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat. Place bok choy in the skillet cut side down, in a single layer. Cook without moving until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Turn them and lightly brown the other side, about 1 minute longer, and transfer to a warm plate. Add garlic, ginger, and scallions to the same hot skillet and drizzle with remaining oil. Cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly, until the garlic just begins to brown. Add soy sauce mixture and simmer over high heat, stirring well, until reduced and thickened. Return bok choy to the pan and cook 1 minute longer, turning once, until wilted and glazed with sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve hot with rice and other Asian dishes.
- For the broth:
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 head garlic, peeled and smashed
- 2-3 scallions, cut into large pieces
- ½ bunch cilantro, leaves, stems and roots, washed
- 2 inches ginger root, cut into thick slices
- 1 Tbsp salt & pepper to taste
- For the soup:
- 4 oz. cellophane rice noodles or egg noodles
- ½ lb greens (bok choy, mustard greens, pea shoots, spinach)
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp sweet rice cooking wine or mirin
- 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro, for garnish
Rinse the chicken thoroughly, remove giblet bag and place in a large pot with cold water to cover by 2 inches (around 2 ½ quarts of water). Add garlic, cilantro, scallions, ginger, salt & pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer very gently for 1 ½ hours, or until the meat falls off the bone. Remove chicken carefully to a colander and allow it to cool. Strain the stock and skim the fat that rises to the surface. (If you make the stock in advance, refrigerate it overnight and remove the congealed fat the next day. You can also use a special device for separating fat that looks like a big measuring cup with a spout that pours from the bottom). When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull off all the meat and shred it with your fingers. Use a nice handful of the meat for the soup and save the rest for another use (Vietnamese chicken salad, perhaps?).
Meanwhile soak the rice noodles in warm tap water for 15-20 minutes, drain and set aside. If using egg noodles, cook them in boiling water until al dente, drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside. Wash greens and cut into fairly large pieces. Bring the stock to a boil and season with the soy sauce and wine. Taste and adjust salt if necessary. Add greens and chicken and cook for 2 minutes. Place a handful of noodles in each soup bowl. Pour soup over noodles and serve garnished with chopped cilantro.
Variations: This soup can easily be made into wonton soup. Get some wonton wrappers from the store (usually sold next to the tofu). For the filling mix together ½ lb ground pork, 2 finely chopped scallions, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp rice wine, salt & pepper. Follow directions on the package to fill them. Boil with the greens in the hot stock until they float.
You can save yourself the trouble of dealing with a whole chicken by using ready-made broth and boneless chicken.