Stir-frying is a more common technique for preparing Asian greens like bok choy, but braising is another way to bring out the best in this group of vegetables as well. Wine and mustard braised bok choy is a quick, tasty side dish to serve with rice, noodles, and tofu dishes.
Variations: This wine and mustard braise works well with many other greens as well. Try it any of the other varieties of the choy family; Chinese mustard greens’ Chinese broccoli; or a combination. It also works well with mustard greens or escarole.
No wine? No problem. Though the wine gives this dish nice depth of flavor and a wonderful aroma, you may not have a bottle to crack open. Simply use vegetable broth or water instead.
A bit about bok choy
Of all Asian greens, bok choy is arguably the most widely known and available. We use the term “bok choy” to somewhat generically describe the larger kind, with the crisp white stalks and dark leaves.
Baby bok choy is a smaller version of the former variety, with stems and leaves of a fairly uniform, pale green hue. Some are the size of a hand or a bit larger; others are really diminutive and are used whole or at most cut in half lengthwise.
Most people who like greens (and those are the kind of people who would gravitate to this book) or who have eaten in Chinese restaurants have likely eaten this mild, easy-to-like vegetable. There are at least twenty in parts of the Asia where this kind of green is consumed with more frequency.
Either of the common varieties of bok choy are equally good raw in salads or very lightly cooked in stir-fries, soups, and braises. To prepare, they’re usually just stemmed (an inch or so needs to be trimmed off the bottom of the larger bok choy stalks) and sliced, leaves and all.
Ingredients for mustard braised bok choy
- Baby bok choy or large bok choy (with the white stalks and dark green leaves), 10 to 12 ounces
- Cornstarch or arrowroot
- Soy sauce or tamari
- Yellow mustard
- Natural granulated sugar
- Neutral vegetable oil or dark sesame oil
- Shallots (2 to 3)
- Dry white wine or sherry
- Napa cabbage, optional
- Freshly ground pepper
Adapted from Wild About Greens by Nava Atlas. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, Bittersweet Blog.com.
Explore more …
- Ginger and Garlic Stir-Fried Bok Choy
- Braised Bok Choy with Shiitake Mushrooms
- Stir-Fried Bok Choy and Shiitake Mushrooms with Snow Peas
- Easy Bok Choy and Tofu Stir-Fry
- Gingery Bok Choy Fried Rice
- 10 to 12 ounces baby bok choy or large bok choy (with the white stalks and dark green leaves)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari, plus more to taste
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
- 2 teaspoons natural granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil or dark sesame oil
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced or sliced
- 2 to 3 whole shallots, sliced
- 1/4 cup dry white wine or sherry (or use vegetable broth or water)
- 1 to 2 cups chopped napa cabbage, optional
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- If using very small baby bok choy, simply cut them in half lengthwise. Larger baby bok choy or the kind with white stalks and dark green leaves can be cut into wide slices across. No matter which kind you’re using, make sure to give everything a good rinse.
- Combine the cornstarch in a small bowl with 1/4 cup water and stir to dissolve. Add the soy sauce, mustard, and sugar and whisk together.
- Heat the oil in a large steep-sided skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the garlic and shallots and sauté over low heat until golden.
- Add the wine, bok choy, and optional napa cabbage. Cover and cook over medium heat for just a minute or two, until the vegetables are just wilted.
- Stir in the cornstarch mixture. Cook for just another minute or so, until the sauce thickens and the greens are tender-crisp to your liking. Season with pepper and additional soy sauce if desired, then serve at once.
Here are tons more plant-forward salads & sides.