Discovering Bok Choy

 

Shrimp w Bok Choy2We first discovered bok choy several years ago while dining at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute restaurant in upstate New York. The dish we ordered came with a vegetable du jour and we ate it without knowing it was bok choy. It was so tasty that we made sure to ask what it was called. At home, we noticed that bok choy had been available on the Chinese take-out menu all along. Who knew? We started ordering shrimp with bok choy on a regular basis.

Bok choy is known as Chinese cabbage but when it comes to flavor, don’t let the name fool you. It tastes nothing like cabbage. It’s more like a celery and spinach mash up with the stem tasting somewhat like celery and the leafy top similar to spinach.

Our next step is to attempt to replicate the Chinese take-out version of shrimp with bok choy so we’re off to the market to peruse the produce aisle. The store carries large heads as well as bunches of the smaller baby version. We’ll select the baby bok choy and defrost our Costco frozen raw shrimp (size 21-25) for this recipe.

Shrimp with Baby Bok Choy (2 servings)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons sherry
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoons sesame oil (for sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (for sauté)
  • 4 baby bok choy bunches
  • 8 large shrimp
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion (scallions)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • Bit of ginger
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Trim the bottom of the bok choy, separate the leaves, and wash in a colander. You’ll notice that the outer leaves have tougher stems and the inner leaves are tenderer. For the outer leaves, cut the tougher stems from the leafy tops. The first few times I made this dish, I used all of the baby bok choy leaves whole. By the time the thicker stems were tender, the leafy tops were over cooked. We’ll stir fry the outer stems a few minutes longer than the rest.
  2. For the sauce, whisk together broth, sherry, soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch. Set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Cook garlic and ginger with a few pinches of salt and a pinch of pepper for 1 minute.
  4. Add bok choy stems, stir-fry for about 3 minutes.
  5. Add shrimp, the remaining bok choy, and green onions, and stir-fry for 3 minutes or until the shrimp are done.
  6. Stir cornstarch mixture into the skillet or wok. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens.
  7. Serve over rice.

Shrimp w Bok Choy

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