Sunday, 25 March 2012 22:21

Pac Choi

A member of the brassicas family along with cabbage and kale, pac choi (aka bok choy or Chinese cabbage) originated in China, where it has been grown for over 1500 years. It was introduced into the US during the late 19th century by Chinese immigrants. Part of the cabbage family, it packs in nutrition with high scores for vitamins A and C and calcium. Pac Choi is mild enough to be chopped up for a salad, particularly if you give it a quick wilt in a hot pan. It's also great in stir-fries and sautes and in asian soups (and other soups too).  As leaves become more mature they are more often served cooked. Pac Choi has a mild flavor. The leaves taste similar to Swiss chard and the stems (called ribs) are deliciously crispy and can be substituted for celery in recipes. We grow both purple and green varieties. My favorite way to cook it is to halve or quarter it lengthwise (depending on the size), brush it with olive or sunflower oil and throw it on the grill. Prepared this way, it makes an excellent and easy side. Store pac choi loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.

Published in Pac Choi
Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

Quick Stir Fry of Pac Choi & Peppers

Quick Stir Fry of Pac Choi & Peppers



1 lb. pac choi
1 lb. sweet peppers, defrosted, drained well
1 Tbsp fresh ginger root, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp sunflower oil

Separate the pac choi leaves and cut off the chunky stalks.
Slice the stalks finely. Roughly chop the leaves. Heat the sunflower oil in a wok or sauté pan. Add the garlic, peppers and ginger. Cook for 1 minute, stirring often. Add the pac choi stalks. Toss well. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Add the pac choi leaves. Stir and then cook for 1 minute, until they are barely wilted. Add soy/tamari and sesame oil and toss.

Published in Light Sides
Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

Steamed Greens with Sesame-Ginger Sauce

Steamed Greens with Sesame-Ginger Sauce



.5 lb. pac choi, washed, drain and halved or quartered, dependent on size
1 lb. savoy cabbage, sliced on a bias 1/4 inch thick
.5 lb. spinach
1/2 cup water
1/2 cups soy sauce
2 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. ginger finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup vinegar ( anything but balsamic)
1/4 cup sesame seeds, lightly toasted

In a large bowl make an ice bath large enough to hold the steamed greens. In a large saucepan, bring a small amount of water to a boil. Add greens and steam until they are wilted. Using tongs, remove the greens and plunge in ice bath. Drain from ice bath and place on clean towels to dry. In another bowl, combine soy, sesame oil, honey, ginger, garlic and vinegar and whisk until well incorporated. Drizzle on amount of dressing as is to your liking and toss. Top with toasted sesame seeds.

Published in Light Sides
Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

Stir Fried Turnips with Greens

Stir Fried Turnips with Greens


From Jack Bishop's A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen. This is a simple and tasty way to use your turnips and greens.

3/4 cup orange juice
2 TB soy sauce
3 medium scallions
4 med garlic cloves
1 TB minced ginger
1/2 tsp hot red pepper flakes
1 TB plus 1 tsp peanut oil
1.5 lbs Salad Turnips or Spring Dug Turnips, cut into 3/4 wedges or chunks
5 cups packed, stemmed greens (Pac Choi, Braising Greens, Yukina Savoy, Chard, etc)

Combine orange juice and soy in measuring cup. Place scallions, garlic ginger, red pepper flakes in small bowl. Heat 1 TB oil in large skillet over med high heat until shimmering. Add turnips and stir fry until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Push turnips to edges of pan, spread garlic mixture in center of pan. Drizzle remaining 1 tsp oil over mixture and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir to combine with turnips. Add orange juice mixture to pan, cover and cook, until turnips are creamy and tender and liquid has reduced to a few tablespoons (2-3 minutes). Add greens, cover and cook until just wilted, about 1 minute. (If the contents of the pan are too soupy, simmer with the cover off to reduce the liquid to a sauce consistency.). Serve immediately.

Published in Light Sides
Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

Pac Choi Saute

Pac Choi Saute



1 bunch pac choi
1 bulb kohlrabi, sliced and cut into medium julienne
2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin sticks
1 bunch Ruby Streaks Mustard, rough chop
2 tbsp. ginger
2 tbsp. tamari
1 tsp. honey
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. oil, any neutral oil works

Wash the pac choi shake excess water off.
Separate the stalks and leaves. Cut the stalk diagonally and cut the leaves across.

Heat wok or large sauté pan and add oil. When oil is ready, add ginger and toss for 30 seconds, until the ginger is aromatic. Add the pac choi, adding the stalks first, carrots and kohlrabi. Add the mustard and the pac choi leaves.

Stir in the tamari, honey, and salt and on high heat for 1 minute.

Add the water, cover the pan and simmer for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir the sesame oil in.

Chicken or shrimp can be added to this to make it a complete meal. In a separate pan, sauté the protein and cook all the way through. Add it to the pan when you add the water to the vegetable mix.

Published in Dinner
Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

Asian Joi Choi Slaw

Asian Joi Choi Slaw


Great with seared tuna, halibut or salmon. Also terrific on black bean burgers.

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. honey
2 tsp. dijon mustard
pinch of sea salt

3 cups Joi Choi, thinly sliced
1 cup salad turnips, halved and thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
2 scallions, thinly sliced

Whisk together wet ingredients. Add vegetables and toss will. Correct seasoning as necessary

Published in Salads
Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

Pac Choi and Scallop Salad with Toasted Pecans

Pac Choi and Warm Scallop Salad with Toasted Pecans


adapted from Gourmet June 96

1/3 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
cayenne to taste
3/4 pound sea scallops
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 large firm-ripe avocado
7 cups pac choi leaves (can substitute with tatsoi or baby spinach), washed well and spun dry

In a heavy, iron skillet over medium heat, mix pecans, salt and cayenne, stirring until toasted and fragrent.
Remove from heat and set aside.

Remove tough muscle from side of each scallop if necessary and halve any large scallops. On a sheet of wax
paper combine flour, salt, cumin, and cayenne and dip flat sides of each scallop into mixture to coat, knocking
off excess. In a skillet heat butter and olive oil over moderately high heat until foam subsides and sauté
scallops, flat sides down, until golden and just cooked through, about 2 minutes on each flat side. Remove
skillet from heat and cool scallops slightly.

In a large bowl whisk together lemon juice , extra-virgin olive oil, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste until
emulsified. Peel and pit avocado and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Cut wedges in half crosswise and add to
dressing. Add scallops with any liquid remaining in skillet, tatsoi or spinach, and pecans and gently toss to
coat. Serves 4 to 6.

Published in Salads
Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

Thai Green Curry with Potatoes, Mushrooms and Choi

Thai Green Curry with Potatoes, Mushrooms and Choi


The purple potatoes really brighten up this green curry, but feel free to use yellow if you prefer. Adding the tofu makes a tasty side into a delicious main course perfect for a hectic weekday evening. Serves 4.

2 TB sunflower oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
6 oz oyster or shiitake mushrooms
2 TB Thai green curry paste
1 can coconut milk
2 TB fish sauce
2 TB honey
1/4 tsp salt
1 lb potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed and cut into 1/4 slices
12 oz firm tofu, halved lengthwise, then cut into 1/2 strips (optional)
2 small heads (or 1 large) pac choi, roughly chopped (feel free to mix in some tatsoi)
2 TB limejuice
2 cups cooked rice

Heat oil in a large, deep skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms; continue to stir for another 2 minutes. Add the curry paste, toss with the veggies and cook for about 30 seconds. Stir in coconut milk, fish sauce, honey and salt. Add potatoes and tofu, if using, and toss to coat. Bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in pac choi. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Stir in limejuice. Serve over rice.

Published in Dinner
Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

Sweet and Sour Pac Choi

Sweet and Sour Pac Choi


We had this for supper last night, the greens are a little tangy and the sauce is sweet. Serves 4.

2 tbsp oil
1 onion, cut in slivers
pac choi, left whole, bigger ones cut in half the long way
2 tbsp maple sugar
2 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce

Combine sugar, vinegar, soy sauce in a small bowl. Set aside. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok or large skillet. Stir fry the onions until browning, remove to a bowl. Add remaining tbsp oil, stir fry the pac choi in a couple batches until they have a few browned spots, the green tops wilt and the stems are crisp tender. Add the onions back into the wok with all the greens and stir in the sauce. Cook another 30 seconds. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes if you like.

Published in Light Sides
Tuesday, 30 November 1999 00:00

Stir-Fried Spring Vegetables

Stir-Fried Spring Vegetables


This is based on a recipe from “A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen” by Jack Bishop. It is one of my vegetarian friend's favorite cookbooks. Serve over white rice or cooked barley. Serves 4.

3/4 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
2 cups boiling water
4 medium scallions, all but the dark green parts, thinly sliced
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 TB ginger root, minced
1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes
3 TB soy sauce
2 TB rice vinegar
2 tsp cornstarch
3 TB cooking oil
5 oz fresh shiitake or oyster mushrooms, sliced
1/4 tsp salt
1 large (or 2 small) head pac choi, chopped
3 medium parsnips (about 12 ounces), peeled, quartered, cored, and cut into 3/4” dice
3 medium carrots (about 8 ounces), peeled and sliced
2 TB minced fresh cilantro leaves

Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with the boiling water. Let soak 15 minutes. Finely chop the mushroom caps (discard the stems), and add to a bowl along with the scallions, garlic, ginger and pepper flakes. Pour the soaking liquid through a strainer lined with a paper towel into a measuring cup. Whisk the soy sauce, rice vinegar and cornstarch into the strained liquid until smooth.

Heat 1 tablespoons of the oil in a large non-stick skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add the fresh mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned, about 6 minutes. Scrape the mushrooms into a bowl.

Add another tablespoon of oil to the hot pan and sauté the choi until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Remove and reserve with the mushrooms.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the empty pan. Add the parsnips and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in the rehydrated mushroom mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until aromatic, about 1 minute.

Add the soy sauce mixture to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the root vegetables are tender but not mushy, 6 to 8 minutes. Return the browned mushrooms to the pan and cook just until heated through, about 1 minute. Stir in the cilantro, adjust the seasonings, adding salt to taste and serve.

Published in Hearty Sides
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