Bok choy is hard to mess up. Its crispy white stalks are good stir-fried with just a bit of soy sauce until tender, and its mild taste takes to other Asian flavors very well.
This recipe mixes up the traditional soy sauce and sesame oil with a few ounces of dried wild mushrooms. Their delicate, wild aroma, accented by a steep in dry vermouth, flavors the vegetable beautifully, and we include the leaves for a slightly bitter edge. We like to serve this with a pepper-crusted pork loin.
Bok Choy with Wild Mushrooms
2 ounces dried wild mushrooms
1/2 cup dry vermouth
1 head of bok choy
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Heat the vermouth a little and add the mushrooms to reconstitute. Let sit for at least five minutes, or according to package directions. Thinly slice the bok choy stalks and shred the leaves.
Heat about a tablespoon of oil over medium heat and cook the garlic until golden. Strain the mushrooms, reserving their steeping liquid, and add to the pan along with the bok choy stalks. Cook, stirring, on medium high heat until the stalks are just beginning to soften. Add the leaves and cook, stirring, until they begin to wilt.
Whisk the vermouth together with the soy sauce and sesame oil and add to the pan. Stir and simmer until slightly reduced and the stalks are tender. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed - you may want to add just a pinch of sugar.
(Image: Faith Hopler)