Bok Choy: Two Asian Sauces

Bok choy is back.  Like many greens, especially the brassicas, bok choy enjoys two local seasons, spring and fall. In the spring, when our CSA was cranking out bok choy in abundance, I wrote about my favorite way of preparing it, steamed and glazed with unctuous garlic-infused oyster sauce.

Now, I’m making it with two other Asian sauces: one that’s based on Thai fish sauce and the other with that gooey Chinese ketchup-like concoction hoisin sauce.  Both of these are versatile. I use the version with fish sauce for Thai basil chicken, and the hoisin base with broccoli and tofu.

In all cases, I steam the bok choy first, and cook the protein ingredients, all the while readying the other ingredients, which typically include garlic and ginger, and sometimes sliced red peppers.

Bok Choy and Shrimp in Thai Fish Sauce

½ lb baby or medium-sized bok choy, cleaned well, halved lengthwise if large

2 tbsp Thai fish sauce

2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce or wheat-free tamari

1 tbsp brown sugar (I use raw turbinado sugar)

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp minced fresh ginger

½ lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

Hot pepper flakes (or use Sriracha sauce)

Steam the bok choy until tender and set aside.

Combine the fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar and set aside.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute to diminish the rawness of the garlic. Add the shrimp to the pan and stir fry it until cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove the shrimp to a plate.  Turn down the heat to medium.

Add the cooked bok choy to the pan and heat it gently. Add the reserved sauce and toss to combine. Sprinkle on a few hot pepper flakes or drops of hot pepper sauce.

Arrange the bok choy on a platter and place the shrimp on top.

Serves 2-3.

Bok Choy and Tofu in Hoisin Sauce

½ lb baby or medium-sized bok choy, cleaned well, halved lengthwise if large

3-4 tbsp hoisin sauce

1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce or wheat-free tamari

1 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar

2 tbsp vegetable oil (divided)

½ lb tofu, drained and dried well and cut into ¾-inch cubes

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp minced fresh ginger

½ red pepper, slivered

Hot pepper flakes (or use Sriracha sauce)

Steam the bok choy until tender and set aside.

Combine the hoisin sauce, soy sauce and rice vinegar and set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp of the vegetable oil in a large saute pan over medium heat and add the tofu in one layer, working in batches. Lightly brown the tofu on all sides and remove to a plate.

Heat the remaining tbsp of oil in the pan and add the garlic, ginger and pepper, and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes or until the pepper is crisp-tender.

Add the cooked bok choy and tofu to the pan and heat them gently. Add the reserved sauce and toss to combine. Sprinkle on a few hot pepper flakes or drops of hot pepper sauce.

Arrange the bok choy on a platter and place the tofu and peppers on top.

Serves 2-3.

Categories: Asian vegetablesTags:

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