Seems I'm not alone. While my food blogging pals regularly cook baby bok choy, the big heads of bok choy (also called Chinese cabbage, bai cai, bok choi and pak choi, according to my source, Jack Bishop) are rare.
It's in the cabbage family but is often treated like a leafy green. I chose to 'start' with something simple, something all about the bok choy. So this is a very basic recipe, just bok choy (local, even!) quick-cooked with garlic and for color, some sliced radish (also local!). Bok choy keeps a bit of its bite when cooked even as radishes soften and sweeten during cooking; they were quite perfect together.
UPDATE (6/14/07) After a little sleuthing, I've become convinced that what I cooked here was not actually bok choy (even if that's what the farmer I bought it from called it) but a somewhat different variety of cabbage mostly called Chinese cabbage. Food-wise, it's closer to Napa cabbage which can be eaten raw in salads or cooked, as here, where bok choy is fibrous enough that it's nearly always cooked.
UPDATE (6/16/07) Aha! I got some bok choy - some real bok choy this time - and made this same recipe. It turned out great! Watch for new additions to the bok choy recipes in the Alphabet of Vegetables.
I found this was even better cold the next day, chopped for the top of a salad.
TWO YEARS AGO Sherry Slaw ... "This slaw took a mere 10 minutes and was different than anything tasted before, still slaw, but different somehow. And good!"
A YEAR AGO THIS WEEK In Kitchen Parade, Tropical Salad Supper (made from Napa cabbage!) either stand-alone or paired beautifully with Tropical Pork Tenderloin.
PRINT JUST A RECIPE! Now you can print a recipe without wasting ink and paper on the header and sidebar. Here's how.
NEVER MISS A RECIPE! For 'home delivery' of new recipes from A Veggie Venture, sign up here. Once you do, new recipes will be delivered, automatically, straight to your e-mail In Box.
GARLICKY BOY CHOY or CHINESE CABBAGE
Time to table: 30 minutes
1 pound head of bok choy or multiple heads of baby bok choy
5 or 6 radishes, trimmed and sliced in half moons (my addition, for color and texture contrast)
1 tablespoon peanut oil (the inspiring recipe called for roasted peanut oil)
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup vegetable broth or chicken stock
Salt & pepper to taste
Wash the bok choy well. Remove the white stalks with a V cut, then chop. (For the Chinese cabbage, this takes a bit of time but you can start the skillet mid-way through.) Heat the oil in a large skillet til shimmery on MEDIUM. Add the chopped stalks and radishes, cook til just beginning to soften. Add the garlic and let cook for 2-3 minutes.
While stalks cook, roll four or five leaves into a 'cigar'. (No need to roll for baby bok choy, just chop the greens.) Holding the cigar together with your fingers, cut the cigar in half length-wise, then cut every inch or so cross-wise. (Or if you're a knife whiz, just roughly chop.) Add the leaves and broth, stir to wet greens, then cover and let cook, stirring once or twice, for about 10 minutes or til leaves are as soft as you like. Season to taste and serve.