Baby Bok Choy
Whole Baby Bok Choy with Mushrooms
½ pound baby bok choy (fourteen little bunches or heads)
½ ounce dried shitakes (eight mushrooms)
oil, 1 teaspoon shoyu (soy sauce), 1 teaspoon mirin or rice wine, ½ teaspoon cornstarch (optional)
If needed, just a pinch of salt and/or sugar
Blanch the bok choy briefly in half an inch of boiling water (you would not do this in Chinese cooking, but since I was leaving the bunches whole, I gave them a little extra cooking). Reconstitute the mushrooms in hot water (you can use the leftover bok choy water). Heat about three tablespoons of oil in a wok or wide skillet or sauté pan. Add the mushrooms and stir for a few minutes. Then add the greens. Mix the leftover mushroom water with shoyu, mirin, and cornstarch if you are using it, and add to the hot pan. Stir another minute. That’s all.
Nope, I know what you’re thinking; add no garlic or other seasonings to this. Sometimes you just have to let bok choy be bok choy. Stop! I can tell; you’re nodding your head, and thinking you’re just going to add the garlic as soon as this screen is off. Try it plain just once. These vegetables are exquisite, as is our heroine, the intrepid sweetnicks.