A traditional Chinese side dish with oyster sauce, perfect for Chinese New Year entertaining.
Greens, prepared simply and lightly sauced, are common side dishes on the Chinese table. Baby bok choy is sweeter than larger bok choy. Although native to Asia, bok choy can be grown in any temperate climate. The most important rule in handling these antioxidant and fiber-rich vegetables is to cook them only until crisp-tender. Overcooked bok choy becomes mushy and loses flavour. In a pinch, bok choy can be steamed until just tender, then tossed with sesame oil or drizzled with warm oyster sauce diluted with a little wine and soy sauce.
6 baby bok choy, trimmed and halved lengthwise
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 slices gingerroot
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup water or broth
1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 tbsp water
1 tbsp dark sesame oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Step 1: Rinse and drain bok choy. Place wok over high heat. Add vegetable oil. Stir-fry ginger and garlic for 30 seconds; remove.
Step 2: Stir-fry bok choy 40 seconds; remove. Stir oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and water or broth in wok. Bring to a boil.
Step 3: Reduce heat and return bok choy to wok. Cover and simmer 1 minute; remove to serving platter.
Step 4: Bring sauce mixture to a boil. Add dissolved cornstarch. When sauce is thick, stir in sesame oil, salt and pepper. Ladle sauce over bok choy; serve.
Reprinted with permission from Belinda Hulin and Kian Lam Kho's Knack Chinese Cooking: A Step-by-Step Guide to Authentic Dishes Made Easy (2009 Knack).