Gong Xi Fa Cai (Pronounced: gong she fa chai.) is how you say Happy New Year in Mandarin. This Friday kicks off Chinese Lunar New Year, the Year of the Horse. If you happen to be a Horse like me, you are active, energetic, sexy, quick-witted, and a hard worker. You also love your Chinese vegetables and braise a mean bok choy.
If you've never tried bok choy in the past, now is your chance. It is shockingly easy to work with, great tasting (Mr. O-P who is not known for particularly liking vegetables gobbled his down), can be used in just about anything from salads to soups to casseroles, to a simple sauté. It has few calories, and offers both protein and antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and K. As if this isn't enough, it's just so gosh darn cute!
Braised Baby Bok Choy
1 cup homemade chicken stock
1-1/2 tablespoons butter
3/4 lb. Melissa's baby bok choy, cleaned and trimmed
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Bring broth and butter to a simmer in a deep large skillet or a three-quart saucepan. Place bok choy, arranging so that bulb ends alternate to make maximum use of space. Simmer covered, until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Watch it as this happens rather fast. Using tongs, transfer bok choy to a heated serving dish and keep warm, covered, while you boil the remaining broth mixture until reduced to about 1/4 cup. Stir in sesame oil to taste and pepper lightly. Pour mixture over bok choy.
If you want to get really special, after braising, chop off the leaves at the bottom, slice the bok choy in half, and form the two halves into this heart shape. How adorable would this be as a side dish to serve to your sweetie on Valentine's Day?
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