I really love bok choy, either cooked or raw in salads. It is one of those often overlooked vegetables, and that is a shame because it really is a wonderful green, with a light, sweet flavor, and when raw, crisp texture. It is very low in calories and high in vitamins A and C.
Choose stalks that are firm and leaves that are bright green. Avoid those with yellow or wilted leaves.
Store in an unsealed plastic bag, for about a week in the refrigerator.
The following recipe comes from my soon-to-be son-in-law Bryan Gilmour, the chef at 121 Restaurant at Oxford Airport. If you have never been there, do yourself a favor and give it a try. Bryan and the staff make some incredible food, and the atmosphere -- watching private planes land and take-off at the airport -- makes for a terrific environment. This is one of Bryan's signature salads.
The next recipe is one I have been making for years, and uses dark sesame oil, an ingredient I really cannot be without.
BOK CHOY SALAD
4 heads baby bok choy
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
2 cups canola oil, divided
1 package Top Ramen noodles
Half a container cherry tomatoes
¼ cup sliced almonds
½ bunch scallions, diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
* Cut each bok choy lengthwise and cut out end piece. Slice the bok choy into bite-size pieces. * Rinse the greens and set aside.
* In a bowl, mix soy sauce and white balsamic vinegar. Gradually whisk in 1 cup oil.
* In a sauté pan, gently heat 1 cup oil over low heat. Add noodles (discard seasoning package) and sauté until crispy.
* Slice cherry tomatoes in half.
* Coat bok choy with dressing.
* Gently mix in noodles, tomatoes, almonds and scallions. Salt and pepper to taste. Serves 2.
SESAME BOK CHOY
1 Tblsp. dark sesame oil
1 bunch bok choy, sliced crosswise (across the stalks), into 1/2-inch slices
1 Tblsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Ground black pepper to taste
1 Tblsp. hulled sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sliced almonds
* Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bok choy and saute 2 minutes.
* Add soy sauce and red pepper. Saute 1 minute. Stalks shold be crisp and leaves starting to wilt. Do not overcook.
* Season with pepper. Top with sunflower seeds and almonds. Makes 4 servings.