Bok Choy Rabe

I’ve been CSAing for the better part of a decade now, so it’s not often anymore that I run into an item I’ve never received before.

Hello, Bok Choy Rabe.

No surprise, I guess, that much like broccoli rabe, the whole thing’s edible — the dark green leaves, the creamy white stalks, and the buttercuppy little flowers.

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Adorable, right? Tasty, too.

No suprise, either, I guess, that I treated it just like I do baby bok choy, stir-frying the bunchlets whole with a little ginger and scallion, splashing on a little soy at the end.

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Take it easy on the soy. More than a splash will overwhelm the tender greens.

TBH, I was hard-pressed to discern any significant difference in taste from tender, baby bok choy. Maybe — kinda, sorta — this flowered version is a hair sweeter. And for sure, the buds added a little nutty crunch.

I can’t imagine we’ll see these more than once or twice a season, but if I ran across them at the farmers’ market, I’d certainly pick them up again.

Stir-Fried Bok Choy Rabe

If you can plan a bit ahead, it’s best to get the greens as dry as you can before you start. Straight out of the salad spinner, they’ll hiss and spit at you in the hot oil, so if you don’t have time to dry them, wear long sleeves.  

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If the very bottoms of the stems are dried out or fibrous, trim them off just below where the first leaf is attached.
  • small bunch of bok choy rabe (mine was about 8 oz), washed and dried
  • knuckle-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and slivered
  • 4 scallions (white and light green parts chopped into 1-inch pieces,  plus some finer pieces of the dark green tips)
  • 1 tbsp peanut or grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 – 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari, to taste
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From chopping to plating, you’re looking at 10 minutes max.

Start with a smoking hot wok or large skillet. Swirl in the oil, and get it good and hot.

Add the scallions (reserve the tops, though) and stir-fry for 30 seconds or so. Add the ginger, and keep everything moving for another 30 seconds. Add the bok choy, and stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes, depending on how soft you like it. I like to retain some crunch, so I definitely err on the short side.

Before you plate, sprinkle in the scallion tops and toss the greens with a bit of soy sauce.

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Perfect under grilled pork tenderloin. Next time, maybe glazed salmon or tofu.

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