Here’s a healthy dish you can make as a cold salad with your favorite dressing, or as a stir-fry. Either way, it can be eaten as a vegan dish or you can add strips of cooked meat or even seafood, like shelled and deveined shrimp.
Bok choy is a Chinese cabbage that can be found in just about any grocery store. It has a mild, light flavor and looks similar to celery. I’ve seen it in two different sizes. Baby bok choy is about 1/3 of the size of regular bok choy, and is often sold in 8-ounce packages. The larger version is often seen in a bunch with a band around it. Because baby bok choy is more tender, it lends itself better to cold salads. Either size is great for cooking.
This recipe is for a stir-fry. If you’re not making it vegetarian, I’d suggest precooking the meat or seafood, unless the pieces are so small or cut so thin that it would completely cook in a very short time. I used leftover precooked bacon bits from the last stuffed mushroom recipe I blogged about.
;) This will make 2 portions as meals, or 3-4 portions as a side dish to an entree.
8 ounces Baby bok choy
8 ounces mushrooms (I used a blend of baby bella, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms)
1 large white onion (about 6-8 ounces)
3/4-ounce bacon bits
2 tbsp. Sesame oil
Garlic (fresh or garlic powder)
Ginger (fresh or ground)
Ground black pepper
FOOD PREP: If the bok choy needs cleaning, run it under the water quickly and shake it out, then let dry on paper towels; you may not need to, as the baby bok choy in packages are often prewashed. Cut the bok choy in half lengthwise, so each piece has both leaves and bulb. If the mushrooms need cleaning, wipe them with a paper towel or cloth (do not wash them with water or the dish will be too soggy). Peel the onion, then cut it in rings, then cut the rings in half so the onion will be in strips. If you’re using fresh garlic and ginger, choose the amount to taste, then peel and cut into small pieces.
For this, I used a wok that’s 11-1/2″ in diameter. You can use a 12″ or larger frypan if you don’t have a wok. Put the sesame oil in the wok, heat on med-high. Add the garlic, ginger and black pepper. If you want, you can also add the bacon bits at this time. Once the oil is hot and sizzling, add the onions and mushrooms. Don’t let them sit, stir-frying means that you constantly stir during the process. Keep the heat high, because you want the onions to be slightly translucent but not caramelized or even golden, and the mushrooms not to release moisture (you basically just want them heated and flavored). Stir until warm and coated, then add the bok choy. You can also add meat or seafood at this time, including the bacon bits if you didn’t add them earlier. And keep stirring…the key to a successful stir-fry is using high heat, cooking it quickly and keeping everything constantly moving in the wok or pan. :)
Keep the heat high, stir and cook until the bok choy is warm, a richer green color and slightly wilted. Any raw meat or seafood should be safely cooked through (hence, using tiny pieces in the first place). The whole cooking process takes only a few minutes, after which it’s ready to plate and enjoy.
You can vary this dish any way you like. If I’d had some pea pods, or carrots on hand that I could grate or sliver, they would have gone in the wok too. The dish is tasty on its own as a meal or as a complimentary vegetarian side to any Oriental entree like teriyaki beef, General Tso’s chicken, or even pork fried rice.
For a cold summer salad, just throw the cleaned and prepared veggies in a bowl, along with seasonings of your choice. You’ll probably want to break up the bok choy with your hands so it’ll blend better with everything else. Add cooked chicken or shrimp, bacon or other meat if you want. Add your favorite dressing and toss. An Oriental ginger dressing like you’d get in a Japanese restaurant would do this salad nicely!