Mains

Bok Choy

How do you bok choy? As another member of the brassica family, bok choy is has the same versatility as any cabbage variety, where it would star sautéed, blanched, or served raw. Bok choy finds its reoccurring role in stir fries, but it is excellent sliced thin for a slaw, where I enjoy it mixed with delicately cut Fuji apples and celery. I’ve seen recipes for bok choy leaves that were boiled, stuffed and baked, which I’ll try next time it comes in the box.  Tossed in sesame oil, seasoned with a simple nip of salt and pepper, then quickly charred on a grill turns bok choy into a sublime side dish. The Choy boldly goes forward in directions veering from Asia, where it’s been found in Provence-style preparation, sautéed with olives, fennel and tomatoes.

This week, I bok choyed in a stir fry with a Thai flare, tossed in with flank steak, onions and a rich red curry broth.

Red Curry Beef with Bok Choy

3 garlic cloves, minced fine

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 pound flank steak, thinly sliced across the grain

salt and pepper

Vegetable oil

1 medium onion, sliced thin

2 heads bok choy, cut into slices, stems separated from the leaves

1 1/2 tablespoon red curry paste

1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 cup coconut milk

Season the sliced flank steak with garlic, ginger and salt and pepper. Heat a wok or large skillet, then add oil and heat, then sear steak until it is browned. Remove from pan.

Add the onion and the bok choy stems to the same pan, and cook until softened. Stir in the curry paste, fish sauce and brown sugar and cook for 2 minutes. Stir the bok choy leaves in, wilt slightly, and then add the coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, until the milk thickens slightly. Stir the steak back into the pan, taste for seasoning and serve with brown rice or softened rice noodles.

Romaine Lettuce

The romaine coming from the farm has been so seductive; creamy white with light green tips, crisp and succulent. I’ve enjoyed the whole leaves as a crisp counter point to rich and spicy flavors, like these meatballs with an Asian splash.

Spicy Hoisen Chicken Meatballs with Romaine Leaves

Serves 4

1 pound lean ground chicken

1 egg

1 cup Japanese Panko breadcrumbs

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/4 teaspoon chili flakes

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup hoisin sauce

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 cup grated carrots

8 large romaine leaves, washed a trimmed

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together the ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, onion, half of  the garlic and half of the hoisin sauce in a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and mix to combine. Roll mixture, about 2 tablespoons, into balls, and place on a baking sheet. Bake in oven for about 5 minutes, until meatballs start to become slightly firm.

Meanwhile, mix together the remaining hoisen, garlic and ginger.Remove meatballs from the oven, and using a pastry brush, lightly brush the sauce on the partially cooked meatballs. Return to oven and continue to bake for another 5 minutes, or until meatballs are very firm to the touch and cooked through.

Place meatballs on romaine leaves, top with grated carrots and cilantro, and enjoy right away.

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