We interrupt the stream of berry-cherry preserving recipes for something completely different: dinner! Because, even during berry season, a girl’s gotta eat, and man (or woman) cannot live on jam alone. And because death, taxes and the CSA wait for no man (or woman); Wednesday is coming, ready or not.
Tonight’s dinner was inspired by my friend Kim, who pointed out that stir frying bok choi is a good thing. Joi choi, pac choi and bok choi are all related plants that fall into the Asian cabbage category; we’ve gotten lots of each from the CSA, thanks in part to the cool, rainy weather, and I was somewhat at a loss as to what to do with it all. Then I found Kim’s recipe on her blog; somehow, it just had not occurred to me to stir fry bok choi. Thanks, Kim! Tonight’s dinner was delicious – I’m sure I’ll be making it again.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.
Chicken Joi Choi Stir Fry
- 1/2 to 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into thin, ~2-inch strips
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin sesame oil
- 4 long garlic scapes, trimmed and sliced into 1/4-inch dice
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 4 scallions, washed and sliced into 1/4-inch pieces, green parts reserved
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small jalapeno pepper, minced with seeds (wear gloves!)
- 1 small head joi choi (or bok choi, pac choi, or other Asian cabbage), washed, trimmed and coarsely chopped into 2-inch pieces (leaves and stems, about 5-6 cups)
- 1 and 1/2 cups sugar snap peas, washed and ends and strings trimmed
- 3 medium radishes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
- 3 sprigs fresh mint, leaves removed and chiffonaded
- 2 tbsp sesame teriyaki sauce (Soy Vay)
- 1 tbsp organic soy sauce
- 1 tbsp tuong ot toi (Vietnamese chili garlic sauce)
- 1/2 tsp nam pla (Roland fish sauce)
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 4 cups cooked brown Basmati rice (from 1 cup uncooked), as accompaniment
- Put rice on to cook (boil or steam).
- Wash and chop veggies and set up a mise en place: garlic, garlic scapes, onion, white parts of scallion and jalapeno in one bowl; green parts of scallion and mint in one bowl; sugar snap peas, joi choi and radishes in separate bowls (or piles); cut chicken last and leave on cutting board.
- Mix teriyaki, soy, tuong ot toi and nam pla sauces in a small bowl with ground ginger and salt.
- Add sesame oil, and contents of garlic-onion bowl to a large frying pan or wok. Turn heat to medium, allowing the slow warming of the oil and vegetables to meld the flavors together. Saute over medium heat, stirring frequently, until vegetables soften and become very fragrant.
- Add the chicken; turn up the heat to medium-high, and stir fry for 4-5 minutes, or until just the slightest bit under-cooked (slice a piece in half and take a look; it should be white, but still retain that rubbery looking texture that says that it needs a couple more minutes). Remove the chicken with tongs or a slotted spoon to a clean bowl.
- Add the sugar snap peas, mint and half the green scallions to the wok (add a little more sesame oil if necessary to keep vegetables from sticking). Stir fry for about 1 minute; add joi choi. Mix well, so that the greens are coated in oil, then put the lid on the wok or pan for about 1 minute to allow the greens to steam. Remove the lid, stir again, and add the radishes. Return the chicken to the wok, add the sauce mixture and turn up the heat to bring the sauce to a boil, stirring constantly. Heat through for about 2 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked and the sauce thickens slightly.
- Remove from heat and serve over brown rice. Garnish with the other half of the green scallions.
- I used 1 pound of chicken, but I think 1/2 pound would have been fine with this amount of veggies. Adjust according to your taste.
- The jalapeno with seeds and tablespoon of tuong ot toi give this a pretty good kick; I would have called it medium spicy, but Tai did a lot of crying and sniffing when he ate his so… maybe a little spicier than “medium.” If you prefer less spice, do not include the seeds and ribs of the jalapeno and reduce the tuong ot toi to 1 teaspoon.
- The fresh mint is essential in this dish; it somehow amplifies and complements the spice, much like lemon juice with strawberries.
- Fresh ginger would work well in this dish (I just didn’t have any on hand). If you have some, use about a 1-inch piece, peeled and minced, and cook it in with the garlic-onion mixture. Omit the ground ginger from the sauce.
- Soy sauce alone can be substituted for the soy-teriyaki combination (note to self: buy more soy sauce).
This will keep for 3 – 4 days in the refrigerator.
Garlic scapes, radishes, sugar snap peas and leafy Asian greens are available in late spring to early summer.