Cooking School – Bok Choy
Bok Choy, sometimes called Pak Choi or Joi Choi, is that wonderful slim green vegetable resembling swiss chard. Usually reasonably priced, its mildly sweet flavour and healthful properties make a great alternative to green beans, broccoli or cabbage. When buying, make sure that the leaves are dark green and the stalks white with no brown spots. The leaves should be compact, firm, and should still be attached at the root. If they look wilted, give them a pass. In the spirit of springtime, you can even try growing your own. Bok Choy has a small and compact root system, so it’s perfect for container gardening. Pests do pose a bit of a challenge. Slugs and snails absolutely love to dine on Bok Choy any chance they can get. See Monday’s post (“The Organic Kitchen Garden”) for some tips on protecting your crop from nature’s wildest.
• Bok Choy can be eaten cooked or raw.
• Wash the leaves just before you’re ready to use them.
• Like swiss chard, the stems will require a longer cooking time than the leaves; so, separate the stems and add them to the pan about 3 minutes before adding the leaves.
Bok Choy with Quail Eggs
12 to 18 quail eggs
2 Tbsp canola oil
12 oz baby bok choy heads, ends trimmed
1/4 cup water
1. In a large pot, combine eggs and enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and held below simmering; cook, uncovered, 5 minutes. Drain and immerse eggs in cold water to cool. Peel.
2. Cut bok choy heads in half lengthwise. Rinse well and drain. Set a large frying pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add 1 Tbsp oil. Add bok choy and stir to coat with oil. Add water, cover pan and cook, turning often, until stems are barely tender when pierce and leaves are bright green, about 3 minutes. Lift out of pan and place on a serving dish.
3. Pour any water out of the pan. Add 1 Tbsp oil to the pan and place over medium heat. Add eggs and cook, turning often, until eggs are golden, about 3 minutes. Place eggs on greens. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Enjoy with a chilled glass of Gewürztraminer.