Baby Bok Choy with Fishcake
April 15, 2011 2 Comments
Spring quarter is the hardest because you’re really only weeks away from summer vacation. Summer vacation means free time, relaxation, and most of all, going home. And home means great food. Food that’s just real, healthy, simple, and replenishing.
Baby bok choy with fishcake is one of my mom’s weekday recipes. It’s an easy, no-fuss stir-fry that goes a long way. The flavors are clean, balanced, and satisfying.
I wish I could tell you if this combination is strange or should I say “creative”? I’ve had it countless times at home, so the pairing is as natural to me as peanut butter and jelly.
For those unfamiliar, baby bok choy is is amazing. Imagine the softness of spinach (without the metallic taste), the crispness of slightly stir-fried celery (without the pesky fibers), and the flavor of fresh cabbage (without the wetness). When cooked with fishcake, ginger, and some salt (which is all this recipe calls for) the vegetables take on a flavor that is bright and fresh. The fishcake really adds a hint of Hmm…what is that? to the dish. But the texture may be off-putting for people who don’t eat it (and love it) regularly like I do. Stephen, who was introduced to it about a year ago, still thinks it’s a little strange to pair something chewy and jiggly with something crisp. Meanwhile, I’m the person that complains about only getting two measly slices of fishcake when ordering udon at a Japanese restaurant.
I did a little reading on bok choy (actually I read one article on Wikipedia) and I found this interesting:
Bok choy contains glucosinolates. These compounds have been reported to prevent cancer in small doses, but are toxic to humans in large doses. In 2009, an elderly woman who had been consuming 1 to 1.5 kg of raw bok choy per day developed hypothyroidism, resulting in myxedema coma. There are other milder symptoms from over-consumption of bok choy, such as nausea, dizziness and indigestion in people with weaker digestive systems.Sometimes this is caused by not thoroughly cooking.
In traditional Chinese medicine, the overall toxicity of bok choy is very low but the energy inclination is cold. Therefore, proper cooking of all varieties of bok choy should involve an ingredient with proper counter-balancing energy inclination: namely hot, eg. ginger or chili pepper.
So here’s how you make it at home!
- 1 bag of baby bok choy (I’m pretty sure it’s usually sold in bags at Asian grocery stores.)
- Some fresh ginger, cut into strips (You can leave the skin on, but wash the hunk you are using before cutting. Use as much as you like.)
- 1 stick of fishcake, sliced thinly (Be sure to rinse and dry the fishcake after you take it out of the packaging.)
- Some salt