I’ve often noticed Bok Choi on the vegetable shelves in supermarkets here in Japan, but I have never been interested on buying it. I admit I tried it once, in a simple miso soup, and I remember being particularly impressed by the flavour. But among green leafy vegetables, I always preferred spinach or Komatsuna.
In this period I’m trying to try a little different flavours, in order to expand a little bit my knowledge about Asian food (especially the way vegetables are cooked), and I decided to start just with Bok Choy.
This vegetable, with a thin green leaf and a thick and crispy stem, is typical of Asian cuisine and in particular of the Chinese one. It is also widely cultivated here in Japan and is harvest in particular during autumn and winter months. It is part of the cabbage family (Brassica rapa), is characterised by a slightly bitter taste which is enhanced during cooking, and is generally eaten raw, stir fry or steamed.
Here is a very popular preparation of it, perhaps the most famous, which sees it paired with two outstanding ingredients such as garlic and ginger.
Simple, perfect for our obento with only one recommendation. If you eat it at work, remember to go easy on the garlic!
In a skillet, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Add the minced ginger and garlic and with a spatula and fry until the garlic is golden brown (careful not to burn it).
Add the bok choy and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Cook on both sides for a total of 2 mins.
Close with the lid. Turn off the heat and let it sit for another 2-3min (this way the released steam will continue the cooking). Turn off the heat, add salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Enjoy and いただきます！