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Stir Fried Bok Choy with Shrimp and Oyster Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound bok choy
  • 2 tablespoons chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1½ teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon peanut oil
  • ½ pound medium shrimp (21 to 25 count), peeled, deveined, and patted dry
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 2 slices fresh ginger, 1⁄4 inch thick, peeled and smacked with a cleaver or the side of a chef’s knife
  • 1 large clove garlic, sliced
  • ½ fresh red chile, sliced (optional)

Procedures:

This preparation works well with medium to large bok choy, the type with broad white ribs and dark green leaves. But you can use the recipe as a template for stirfrying other green vegetables, such as broccoli, asparagus, or mustard greens. The key to stir-frying vegetables successfully is to dry them thoroughly after washing so they sear, rather than steam, in the wok. The dish will serve two as a one-pot meal, or four with other dishes.

Separate the bok choy leaves from the white ribs. Tear each leaf into 2 or 3 pieces. Halve the ribs lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces.

In a small bowl, whisk together the broth, oyster sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch, sesame oil, and rice wine.

Heat a large wok over high heat until a drop of water sizzles on contact. Add 1 teaspoon of the peanut oil and spread the oil around the bottom of the wok with a spatula. Add the shrimp, season with salt, and stir-fry until they turn pink but are not completely cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon peanut oil to the wok and spread the oil with the spatula. Add the ginger and cook for about 30 seconds to release its fragrance, then add the bok choy stems, garlic, and chile. Stir-fry, adjusting the heat to prevent scorching, until the bok choy begins to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. If the stems are quite thick, you may need to add a tablespoon or two of water and cover the wok briefly to complete the cooking, but do not overcook; the stems should remain firm to the tooth.

Stir the oyster sauce mixture to recombine and add to the wok along with the bok choy leaves. Stir-fry until the leaves begin to wilt, less than a minute, then add the shrimp and stir-fry until they are fully cooked. Transfer to a warmed platter and serve immediately.

Recipe developed for Sur La Table’s Cooking Classes

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