One of the many joys of supplying a CSA is introducing our members to new food.
A favorite refreshing tidbit in our spring garden trials is Shanghai Pak Choy. Now, normally, this gets harvested at about 6″ tall. With our wet, cool spring, at the time of our first share pickup, we had several specimen shooting up to a foot tall and starting to bolt.
The good news is, it didn’t seem to effect the flavor as I chopped one up for the grill on Memorial Day.
To prepare any choi, find an asian sauce blend you like or favorite salad dressing. You can peel the leaves individually if stir frying in a pan. However, I found the main stem to be the tastiest bite in my trial, so I suggest quartering the vegetable down the core. In our case, the ‘baby’ choy was not so baby, so because of its height, I ended up peeling the leaves and slicing the core like a broccoli stem into mini pucks. I literally tossed the pucks into chicken broth in the crockpot, plopped in the broaster from a neighbor’s farm, sliced a half a stick of butter on top, cut up fresh dill leaves, doused in a bit of cracked pepper, laid the choi leaves across the top of the chicken and sprinkled with sea salt. I turned on the crock to high and went out to garden for four hours.
What you see when you come back is similar to ‘wilting’ in a fry pan.
The pak choy was perfectly tender and in true Asian style, I used no knife. Just roll up the whole stem on your fork and enjoy. Unlike some choy, this type has no stringy veins and was easy to chew.
Chop the pak choy in quarters, dip whole piece in Asian sauce of your choice, roll in sesame seeds, grill 15 to 30 minutes until center core is tender.
Here is one from epicurious: Stir-Fried Pak Choi