Think of mild-flavored, juicy bok choy as an invitation to experiment in the kitchen. Thoroughly drying the bok choy before cooking ensures that you don't end up with a watery sauce.
1 pound baby bok choy
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
6 dried red chiles, such as arbol
2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine* or dry sherry
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar,* nor use equal parts distilled white and balsamic vinegars
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
How to Make It
Trim bases of bok choy and separate outer leaves from stalks, leaving the smallest inner leaves attached. Rinse and thoroughly dry bok choy in a salad spinner.
Heat a wok or large frying pan (not nonstick) over medium-high heat until hot when you wave your hand over the bottom. Add vegetable oil, garlic, ginger, and chiles and stir once.
Add rice wine and cook 30 seconds. Add bok choy leaves and stalks and cook, tossing with tongs, until beginning to wilt, about 1 minute. Add brown sugar. The wok may seem crowded, but the leaves wilt quite a bit.
Add soy sauce, Chinese black vinegar, salt, and pepper; cook, tossing often, until bok choy is tender-crisp, another 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.
*Find at well-stocked grocery stores, Asian markets, and online.
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