Friday, April 20, 2012

Spicy Garlic Bok Choi

The family and I love to hunt for produce over at the Beaver Street Farmers market, Jacksonville's oldest farmers market according to their webpage which you can find here . The selection and quality is great, the prices are good and it's just fun to browse the market stalls and look at the colorful displays, hear the banter and chatter in not just English and negotiate your dinners for the week.

Last time, we picked up some lovely baby bok choi at my favorite market stall run by a wisp of an Asian lady who rules her minions with an iron hand but has customer service down to an art. She will peek into your bags to determine whether that basket you chose had indeed enough potatoes, beans, okra, mushrooms, tomatoes, whatever - and if it falls short, just toss in another handful. She is also willing to cut you a deal, say, when you are whipping up a medium truckload of broccoli salad for 20+ hungry cub scouts and need more than just one of anything.

So this past weekend, she had some lovely lovely baby bok choi that had to come home with us! All three of us love Asian cuisine and so I whipped up a batch of spicy garlic bok choi with chicken:

3 baby bok choi, cut into chunks
3-4 cloves of garlic, cut into slices
1/2 tsp (or more, depending on taste) red pepper flakes
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 cup soy sauce
vegetable oil
optional: chicken, beef, pork or shrimp (we used chicken)

Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to a wok or deep pan and heat it up. Add your garlic making sure not to burn it. As soon as it starts to soften, add your chicken/beef/pork/shrimp. Add soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, red pepper flakes, brown sugar and dust lightly with ginger. Toss in the white, chunky parts of your baby bok choi and turn down heat. Don't cover; the bok choi gives off a lot of liquid and covering will just turn it into a soupy mess. Once the chunkier pieces start to soften, add the leaves and cook until wilted. Done!

If you like your sauce a bit thicker, just thicken it with a bit of cornstarch. Serve over rice or noodles. Omnomnom!

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