Those of us with western palates likely think of cucumbers and hakurei salad turnips as excellent ingredients for fresh salads and pickles. In this recipe, both crunchy vegetables are added to the wok with bok choy to unleash their juicy, meaty cooked texture commonly seen in Korean and Chinese cuisine. The key to a good stir-fry is to cook everything in a hot pan, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
Bok Choy Stir Fry
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ½ cup of maple syrup
- ⅔ cups of water
- 4 teaspoons of cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon neutral oil, such as sunflower
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons of grated ginger
- 1 small bunch baby bok choy, stems and leaves separated and roughly chopped (about 3 cups)
- 1 bunch hakurei salad turnips, diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 medium cucumber, diced
- 1 bunch green onions (about 5), roughly chopped
- 4 cups of cooked brown rice, for serving
- Red pepper flakes or chili sauce like sambal oelek, to taste
- Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
- Fresh herbs like cilantro or basil for garnish (optional)
First, make the suace. Combine the tomoato paste, soy sauce, rice vinegar and maple syrup in a saucepan. Heat on medium-low for a couple minutes until combined. Meanwhile, add the cornstarch to a small dish and mix in the water until cornstarch is completely dissolved. Add to the sauce and then bring to a boil stirring constantly until the sauce has thickened and is no longer cloudy. Remove from heat.
Heat a large pan to medium-high heat and add oil. When oil is hot, sauté garlic and ginger until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add bok choy stems, cucumber and salad turnips and cook stirring frequently until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add bok choy leaves and green onions and cook until wilted, 1-2 minutes. Remove pan from heat, add the sauce and stir to coat. Serve immediately over cooked rice and garnish with chili, sesame seeds and fresh herbs.