Stir-fried Baby Bok Choy and Shiitake Mushroom-Cải Xào Nấm Đông Cô

Vietnamese food

I would like to share this veggie stir fried dish based on Charles Phan’s.  I am so happy knowing he uses sugar in this stir-fried dish. It is served as a side dish or main dish with cooked rice.  Mushroom’s meaty flavor and distinctive texture make it standing in for meat in vegetarian dishes.  If you want to make them as vegan dish, use soy sauce instead of fish sauce.  Dial garlic  up and down  or replace it with shallot or onion (if you do not like garlic) to your liking. Use any edible green (curly mustard green, cabbage, etc) and mushroom available and you have a stir-fry of the day.  Leafy vegetable maybe blanch first to reserve the volume, greenish or reduce cooking time to tough veggies.  Dried mushroom needs to be soaked in advance.  Baby bok choy as other leaf green and mushroom is sold in packages at Oriental store.

Make 4 servings as a side dish:
   1 package baby bok choy about 1.5 lb (8-9 medium size heads)
   1/2 lb fresh shiitake mushroom, cap only,keep small ones whole, cut into 2-4 if medium or large
   1 Tbs vegetable oil
   1/2 Tbs finely minced garlic about 2 medium garlic cloves (or 1 Asian shallot, or 1/4 small yellow onion)
   1-2 tsp fish sauce
   1/8 tsp salt
   1 tsp sugar
   1/4-1/2 cup chicken stock or water
   1/4 tsp ground black pepper

  1. Separate baby bok choy stalks from the base.  Wash, cut/chop from the stem ends into 1 inch length, leaves into 1.5-2 inch length and keep them  separated.  Have all ingredients next to the stove
  2. Heating oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat.  When oil is hot and near smoking (starts shimmering – appear thinner and glistened when swirling the pan).  Stir in garlic, garlic will turn light brown and fragrant almost instantly.  Add bok choy stem; stir once, add salt and stir to combine. Cook a few minutes until bok choy pretty wilt.  Stir in leaves and mushroom.  Stir in 1 Tbs fish and sugar and cook 1-2 minutes.  Add 1/4 cup chicken broth or water and cook, stir until bok choy is tender. Add a few Tbs water or broth if the pan starts getting dry.  Taste and add more fish sauce if needed.  Sprinkle ground black pepper.
  3. Serve hot or warm with cooked rice. A small amount of soy sauce, fish sauce or prepared sweet & sour fish sauce (Nước mắm chấm/đâm) is usually served on the side for dipping.

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