Thursday, January 16, 2014

31 Days of Green: Day 16 Bok Choy

Bok Choy is another one of my favorite greens (how many times have I said that this month?) It really is though. First of all it is visually appealing with its velvety bright green leaves shooting up from a perfectly sculpted juicy looking base. It also holds up well to storing (more than most other greens anyway) and it is easy to prepare. It is firm and cooks up crisp but still delicate. It is hardier then kales and collards but not quite so much as cabbage. It is also a lot easier to handle than a cabbage. What’s that? You’ve never heard of it? Perhaps you’ve heard of Chinese cabbage or pak choi? These names are often used interchangeably. Though this green hails from China it must grow really well in Georgia because I see it at the farmers market all the time, along with many other Chinese greens (Tatsoi anyone?). I’ve seen it in ‘baby’ and presumably ‘adult’ variety. The baby type is of course more tender and sweet, as babies usually are! My favorite thing about this green is that it really stands well on it’s own. A little oil and light sauté or quick roasting is all it needs to really shine. It, of course, is also nutritious

When I decided this morning that I wanted to do bok choy as todays green I went to the supermarket and picked some up, since farmers market day is Saturday. Well we also get a CSA box on Thursday and of course, I got about a pound of baby bok choy. I was tickled, and now of course we will be having lots of other bok choy dishes this week. Fried rice is like comfort food to me. My mom made it all the time growing up and why not? It is delicious and a great way to eat vegetables. It seems like rice is losing popularity. You could easily just make this dish into stir-fry or perhaps try cauliflower rice
As with most of my recipes, you can adapt this one to fit your dietary needs, taste buds, fridge, and wallet.

Baby Bok Choy Fried Rice

*Gluten Free
Serves 4

3 cups cooked rice, cold
3 baby bok choy, thinly sliced
2 small carrots, diced
½ red onion, diced
¼ lb white mushrooms, diced
2 clove garlic, minced
2 pastured eggs
3 tbl grassfed butter
Soy sauce, *Tamari, or *Coconut aminos to taste

Melt about half of the butter in a large pan or wok over medium heat. Add the diced onions, carrots, and garlic. Let them brown for a few minutes. Next add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes until they start to sweat. Once the carrots are tender, they should give a little when pressed, add the sliced bok choy and cook for another minute. Scoot the veggies to the edges and add the rest of the butter to the middle of the pan. Crack to eggs over the butter and scramble them. Once the eggs are mostly cooked mix them in with the rest of the veggies. Again scoot the veggies to the edge, turn the heat up to high, and add the cold rice to the center. Let it cook for one minute then gently stir it into the veggies. Let it cook for another minute and gently flip it over. Cook for one more minute and taste to make sure it is warm. Remove it from the heat and add your tamari (or sauce of choice) to taste. Serve warm. Read the notes and substitutions for extra tips.
Stop here for a great stir-fry

melt the butter
add the eggs
scramble the eggs
add the rice
mix the rice and cook for about 2 more minutes
perfect fried rice!

Notes and Substitutions

  • Make sure to dice the carrots pretty small or they won't cook all of the way.
  • Your rice has to be cold or it will likely get mushy, leftover rice works great.
  • *Soy sauce is not gluten free, tamari is gluten free but not soy free, and coconut aminos is gluten and soy free. Always check the label though!
  • You could use coconut oil or pork fat in place of the butter. My family always uses pork fat.
  • You can make this vegan by using coconut oil and omitting the eggs.

What is your favorite way to make bok choy?

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