Monday, July 28, 2008

Extra Dwarf Bok Choy with Preserved Beancurd (Cai Thia Xao Chao)

Brassica rapa chinensis or bok choy (Cantonese), bai cai (Mandarin) and cai thia (Vietnamese) is a versatile green that's great for stirfries. It has a generally sweet flavor with a hint of mustard. I prefer the extra dwarf bok choy not only because they are tiny and adorable, but because they are more leafy than the regular bok choy. If you are lucky enough to get your hands on really clean ones without sand, then you can cook them whole. I always find them to be a bit too sandy, so I usually cut off the very ends to separate the stems. Fill up the entire sink with cold water and let them hang out in there till the sand and debris sink to the bottom. After a couple rinses, these beauties can be drained and tossed into stirfries or soups.

Extra dwarf bok choy stirfried with fresh, minced garlic, ginger, chili, sesame seed oil, preserved beancurd and fish sauce. My favorite way to enjoy leafy greens with hot jasmine rice.