The bok choy bolted way too soon. Seems like just the other day it was so little and now it’s applying to be in a salad! The weather had been mild for months and I’d been deceived into thinking I could buy a few extra days. Nope, no way. Not certain whether the taste goes “off” after the flower shoots up, I resigned myself to plucking the whole crop at once and possibly just composting it.* I’d gotten one meal out of the baby leaves and, like leaf lettuce when you pluck moderately, it appeared to handle the trimming just fine. Then, about a week later, in the midst of a warm and persistent couple of days of rain, up go the leaves and one morning, I notice the tiny flower heads nestled in almost every cluster. Not fully grown but the plants got the memo: Time to go to seed. Spring is over.
*I looked up “bok choy bolting–ok to eat?” on the Internet first. There’s some dispute over how long you have, if any. It did make me go ahead and harvest (and eat) all the spinach crop before that bolted, too!
Pretty Easy Bok Choy
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking: 5 minutes
The reason for “pretty” easy is that bok choy needs to be prepped a bit. (But it’s worth it!) Trim off the bottoms, separate the leaves then wash and towel dry. Prepare the green tops and stems separately. Grab the greens in a bunch and ribbon them. Roughly chop the stems into bite size pieces.
4 largish baby bok choy, prepared as above
1 TBL sesame oil with more for drizzling
2 garlic cloves, minced
TSP grated fresh ginger if you can—really deepens the flavor
Red pepper flakes, just a few
Dash of low-sodium soy sauce
Warm sesame oil over medium heat in a stir fry pan or other wide lidded pot, just until it shimmers. Add garlic cloves (and ginger if using.) Saute about one minute, taking care not to burn the spices. Add bok choy stems and stir fry about two minutes until softened. Add bok choy leaves and let them just wilt. Swirl in drizzle of sesame oil. Remove pan from heat and stir in a few red pepper flakes if you dare. Blend in dash of soy sauce—don’t overdo or it will be too salty, even if using low-sodium version.
Serve with warm white rice, such as Calrose, a Japonica variety. Nuttier grains might fight the flavors but whatever you like, go for it!
Copyright 2012, Lori Fontanes