Bring Home the Bok Choy

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It’s spring and a great time to bring home something different, like bok choy!

Bok choy is related to cabbage and a versatile vegetable with crisp, sweet leafy greens and white juicy, mineral-rich white stems. Bok choy is earthy in flavor retains its beautiful emerald green color when cooked. You can prepare the leafy green any number of ways: toss baby bok choy with homemade vinaigrette in a salad, add whole to spiced beef soup; or use a number of way in your next stir fry.

When purchasing bok choy look for crisp, bright green leaves and a firm, white stem. Avoid bok choy with dull, drooping leaves, yellow stems, or brown spots. Bok choy like other leafy greens, should be stored in the crisper drawer in a loose or perforated plastic bag. Don’t wash bok choy until directly before cooking.

When ready to prepare, wash with cold water and cut away the root at the base. Baby bok choy can be cooked whole or eaten raw; for mature bok choy, separate the stalks and leaves before cooking them. The leaves cook much faster so you’ll want to add them to your recipe right at the end, whether you’re boiling, steaming, or stir-frying.

Roasted Baby Bok Choy

Ingredients

  • 4 heads baby bok choy, (1¼ pounds), trimmed, leaves separated
  • 4 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1½ teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon or ¾ teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon mirin, (To substitute the mirin add between 1 and 2 tablespoons of sugar to ½ cup of white wine, vermouth, or dry sherry)
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Toss bok choy, oil, garlic and salt in a roasting pan. Roast on lowest rack, stirring twice, until wilted and tender-crisp, about 6 minutes. Whisk lemon zest and juice, tarragon, mirin and pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle over the roasted bok choy.

Serves 4. Each serving contains Calories 58, Fat 5 g, Carbohydrates 3 g, Protein 1 g, Fiber 1 g, Sodium 110 mg, Potassium 12 mg.

Crunchy Bok Choy Slaw

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups very thinly sliced bok choy, (about a 1-pound head, trimmed)
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

Directions

  • Whisk vinegar, oil, sugar, mustard and salt in a large bowl until the sugar dissolves. Add bok choy, carrots and scallions; toss to coat with the dressing.

Serves 8. Each serving contains Calories 33 g, Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 4 g, Protein 1 g, Fiber 1 g, Sodium 132 mg, Potassium 185 mg.

Salmon and Bok Choy

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons (local) honey
  • 2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pound baby bok choy or bok choy
  • 4 (6-ounce) sustainable salmon fillets
  • ¼ cup diagonally cut green onions

Directions

  1. Preheat broiler. Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  2. Coarsely chop bok choy leaves, and arrange on one end of a jelly-roll pan. Coarsely chop bok choy stems and arrange in a single layer on opposite end of jelly-roll pan. Place salmon, skin side down, in a single layer on top of leafy greens. Pour half of soy sauce mixture evenly over salmon; pour remaining half evenly over bok choy stems. Broil for 5 minutes; stir stems. Broil an additional 4 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Arrange ⅓ cup bok choy on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with 1 fillet and 1 tablespoon green onions.

Serves 4. Each serving contains Calories 320, Fat 13.4 g, Protein 36.3 g, Carbohydrate 12.8 g, Fiber 1.5 g, Cholesterol 94 mg, Sodium 444 mg.

Shrimp and Bok Choy Stir-Fry

Ingredients

  • ½ – ¾ pound shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (To substitute the mirin add between 1 and 2 tablespoons of sugar to ½ cup of white wine, vermouth, or dry sherry)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ pound bok choy
  • 4 ounces fresh mushrooms, or 6 Chinese dried mushrooms (also called dried Shiitake mushrooms)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil for stir-frying, or as needed
  • 2 thin slices ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup chicken broth, sodium-reduced if possible
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons water

Directions

  1. Rinse the shrimp under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Place the shrimp in a bowl and add the mirin or substitute, ½ teaspoon salt and cornstarch, stirring in one direction (this is to make sure the marinade spreads evenly.)
    Chop the bok choy stalks diagonally and the leaves across into 1 inch pieces. Wipe the mushrooms with a cloth or soft brush and cut into thin slices.
  2. If using Chinese dried mushrooms, soak in hot water for 20 minutes to soften. Drain the softened mushrooms, remove the stems and cut into quarters.
  3. Preheat the wok and add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the ginger. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds, until aromatic, then add the shrimp. Stir-fry until they turn pink. Remove the cooked shrimp from the pan.
    Add a bit more oil if needed so that there is about 1½ tablespoons oil in the wok. Add the bok choy, mushrooms and ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir-fry for 1 minute (Note: add a small amount of water or rice wine if the vegetables are a bit dry). Add the chicken broth, cover and cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Add the shrimp back into the pan. Add the sugar, soy sauce, and pepper. Give the cornstarch/water mixture a quick re-stir and add in the middle, stirring to thicken. Cook, stirring for another minute and serve hot.

Braised Bok Choy with Tomatoes and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 2-pound head bok choy, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 slices whole-grain country bread, toasted and finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup finely shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese

Directions

  1. Place oil and garlic in a large high-sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat and cook until the garlic is sizzling and fragrant about 3 minutes.
  2. Add bok choy, tomatoes and olives; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bok choy is tender, 8 to 12 minutes. Stir in salt; top with bread and cheese, cover and cook until the cheese is melted, about 1 minute.

Serves 6. Each serving contains Calories 121, Fat 6 g, Cholesterol 7 mg, Carbohydrates 12 g, Protein 6 g, Fiber 2 g, Sodium 347 mg, Potassium 638 mg.