Culinary Chronicles – Asian Cuisine #1: Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Chicken
One of the things I like best is experimenting with different cuisines. This month I’ve been learning Asian, or more specifically, Korean cooking. Its all thanks to Chloe Lim, the Korean Food Addict (at kfoodaddict.com) who has posted many wonderful Korean dishes. I recommend you visit her site and learn some things. Its great!
The first time I looked through her site I was like, “Wow! That looks so delicious but I don’t have some of those ingredients.” So I made a list of all the dishes I wanted to try and took note of the things I needed. Some things that I have found to be very common in any Asian cooking are Soy sauce (which I knew already), sesame oil, and sesame seeds. Once I had my list ready it was time for the International Farmer’s Market. I can’t tell you how inspiring that place has been for us since it arrived last year. We’ve found so many new and foreign things, produce mostly, and it has definitely brought out the creativity in our cooking. There’s nothing like walking out of the store with a buggy full of fresh produce. The feeling is one of satisfaction.
Since we started shopping there one of the items continually on our list is Bok Choy. I had never had it previously but I found a recipe/video on YouTube that I liked and wanted to try. So far I’ve tried Baby Bok Choy, Shanghai Bok Choy, and Lon Bok Choy. The first two are mini versions of the last, meaning Baby and Shanghai are small heads while the Lon are long, tall heads. I really can’t say which I like the best without comparing their taste at the same time, but the Shanghai is usually the cheapest.
Technically, Bok Choy is Chinese, being a species of Chinese cabbage, even though another species, Napa, is used in the common Korean staple Kimchi, which I have not tried just yet but want to. The experiments I have been doing with Bok Choy I have not gotten from Chloe, the Korean Food Addict, but some of the other ingredients and techniques are.
At first, inspired by some of her meat dishes, I cut the chicken in bite-sized pieces and cooked them in a skillet with coconut oil (our favorite oil). But without good knives for cutting meat, this can be difficult. So this time I baked the chicken like we usually do and continued like usual; with a few changes of course. I always like trying something different. Here’s my recipe:
Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Chicken
- Chicken Thighs, skinless and boneless (Our favorite is Coleman’s Organic from Cosco)
- Ultra-refined, expeller pressed Coconut oil (there isn’t a flavor to this kind, even though we buy the flavored kind as well)
- Bok Choy (I used two bags of Shanghai Bok Choy)
- Green Onions
- Chive Flowers (pictured on the cutting board below)
- fresh garlic cloves
- fresh ginger
- salt and pepper (we like to use unground Celtic Sea Salt)
- sesame seeds
- Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (a Natural Soy Sauce alternative)
- sesame oil
Melt coconut oil in baking pans. Place chicken in pans and season with salt and pepper. Bake chicken in the oven at 350 degrees till done.
|Shanghai Bok Choy and Green Onions|
Prepare Bok Choy by chopping the base off. Wash thoroughly. We like to use GSE (Grapefruit Seed Extract) in water.
Meanwhile, chop the chive flowers into a desired size. The first time I left them in longer lengths, which is visually appealing, and only put them in after everything was cooked, but I wasn’t as fond of it that way.
Chop the garlic as well. My family likes larger chunks of garlic, and since garlic has so many health benefits, I added a lot. So far it looks like Korean’s like lots of garlic in their cooking and that makes us happy.
Chop green onions and Bok Choy. I learned to cut Bok Choy first down its length to halve it and then chopped in chunks down the width. I prefer to leave them in larger bits than smaller to equal the size of the chicken.
Slice fresh ginger in thin coins. You’ll notice in the next picture some of the coins of ginger are thick; it’s more beneficial to slice them thin.
In a large skillet (or even a wok if you prefer), add enough coconut oil to cover the bottom. Once oil is hot, add ginger coins and cook until the juice of the ginger is adequately infused into the oil.
You might notice I like ginger. I adore cold ginger tea with lemon (a recipe I will endeavor to post). Ginger is a recent ingredient we’ve come to love. At first I wanted it just to make tea so I learned more about it: how to take care of it and prepare it. Its a wonderful ingredient deserving a post all its own.
Remove ginger coins and add green onions, chives, and garlic. Cook till lightly browned.
Add Bok Choy and stir till all the Bok Choy is well covered in oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes, then add some liquid aminos, (or Bragg’s, as we call it) and cook till done, which is where the harder chunks of Bok Choy are starting to get translucent. I have at times covered it with a lid and let it steam for a while but it tends to cook down a little too much so I left it off.
Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the Bok Choy. Add a couple of teaspoons of sesame seeds and cook a little longer to blend the flavors. Then drizzle a desired amount of sesame oil over it. We use Spectrum’s brand of Toasted Sesame oil.
Serve over brown rice or Annie Chun’s Brown Rice Maifun Noodles. And enjoy!
Our favorite version is the one I described above, but I have also made a version with cubed ground beef. We keep our ground beef in the freezer until we need it and get it out a few hours before cooking time to thaw slightly. If cubing it, only get it out a couple of hours before or you won’t have cubes but bits.
|With Cubed Ground Beef|
Another way I like to prepare it as a side dish without meat. I fix it as before but at the point where I’ve added the Bragg’s I add a couple of cups of chicken broth too. Then I put a lid over it and let it steam till done.You could use vegetable broth in place of the chicken, or even beef. Be creative! And never be afraid to experiment.
Let me know if you tried my recipe, and tell me how it goes. I’d love to hear from you.
On my list for future creations:
- Kimbap (Korean sushi) at KFoodAddict.com
- Butternut Pancakes (by another Korean cook, Maangchi)
- Korean Radish Wrap at KFoodAddict.com
- Sesame Leaf Pockets at KFoodAddict.com
Plus I want to make my own rice cakes so I can try some of Chloe’s other recipes. So excited!