Monday, March 08, 2010

Cooking with Books: Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Shiitake Mushrooms

Chinese food is supposed to be healthy. But the kind we often get here in the United States is usually not. Dredged in flour, deep-fried and drowned in sticky-sweet sauce is not dinner in true Beijing-style.

Fresh Chinese by Wynnie Chan should change all this for you home cooks out there. The informative introduction concentrates on eating for good health, including tips to reduce the amount of sugar and salt in your diet. It also suggests the equipment and pantry ingredients you'll want to have on hand to stir-fry like a pro.

Recipes I have tabbed to try include a healthier version of a favorite of mine, Sesame Shrimp Toasts, Oysters with Black Bean Sauce, Mussels with Basil and Black Bean Sauce, and Rice Noodles with Aromatic Shrimp. Fresh, healthy ingredients cooked up with an Asian flair.

Just like this healthy vegetable side dish. Piled alongside a grilled chicken breast or steamed salmon, it's a meal that will have you licking your chopsticks clean.

Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Shiitake Mushrooms
From Fresh Chinese.

1/2 tablespoon canola or olive oil
1 pound bok choy, halved lengthwise (I used baby bok choy.)
20 fresh shiitake mushrooms, halved
1 teaspoon shoyu or tamari sauce (These are Japanese soy sauces with less sodium than the regular stuff. It's worth keeping in your pantry.)
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
3 tablespoons vegetable stock (or substitute chicken stock or water)
Cornstarch paste: 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water

Heat the canola oil in a nonstick sauté pan over a high heat until it is piping hot, swirling it around to cover the base of the pan.

Add the bok choy, a handful at a time, stirring occasionally. Cover the pan and cook for about 2-3 minutes, until the bok choy leaves have wilted slightly. Remove to a serving plate.

Return the pan to the heat and add the shiitake mushrooms. Stir-fry over a high heat for 30 seconds. Add the shoyu sauce, rice wine and vegetable stock. Stir to mix. Add the cornstarch paste, stirring constantly until the sauce has thickened.

Pour the mushrooms and sauce over the bok choy and serve immediately.

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