I am making a Chinese roast pork for Sunday. A vegetable stir-fry is a necessary compliment to a meat heavy dish. Going to Lion Market, I finally decided on baby bok choi and to add variety chive stem.
My preferred green to go with this dish would be garlic stem (scrapes), but they are almost impossible to find in San Jose. They have an extremely short season, are not considered “profitable” by American farmers, and they are also very popular with the local Chinese community, so they are usually gone by the time I get to the store. Failing to find garlic stem, I make do with the similar—but much more available—Chinese chive stems.
Note: These two vegetables look very much the same, but you can tell them apart by their cross sections. Garlic stems have a round stem and the chive stems are more of a diamond shape. If the stem looks like it has corners it is Chinese chive stem.
Karl’s Stir-fry with Bok Choi and Chive Stem
2 Tbs. peanut oil
½ lb. chive stem, cut into 2 inch pieces
½ yellow onion, cut pole to pole into half moons
1 lb. baby bok choi, quartered lengthwise
1 Tbs. garlic, sliced into coins
1. Put all of the sauce ingredients into a cup and set them aside.
2. Wash and cut all of the vegetables, keeping them in separate piles.
Tip: Whenever you are stir frying, it is important to have everything ready before the first things go into the pan, because there is no time for chopping after you start.
Note: For the baby bok choi, I cut the leaves from the white stalks. I then quarter the bases lengthwise. Keep the white and green parts separate.
3. Put two tablespoons of peanut oil into a large non-stick pan, or wok, over medium high heat.
4. When the oil is shimmering add chive stem and onions.
5. Stir fry for three minutes, until starting to soften.
6. Add the white parts of the baby bok choi to the pan and continue stir-frying for 2-3 more minutes, until the thickest part of the stems start to becomes translucent.
7. Pull the vegetables to the side of the pan and add the garlic to the hole in the center.
8. Stir fry the garlic for one minute and then mix in the rest of the vegetables.
9. Add the green parts of the bok choi and stir-fry until wilted, 1-2 minutes.
10. Stir in the sauce, stir-frying for one minute and toss to coat the vegetables.
11. Transfer the vegetables to a serving bowl and serve hot.