On my 21st birthday, I was awoken bright and early (meaning around 9:30 AM) by a delivery man. It turned out that not only did this delivery man's father live in my hometown, but he also had a huge arrangement of fruit for me!
Waking up to a batch of fresh fruit made even this cranky not-morning person very happy! Thanks for the thoughtful gift, Mom!
My favorite part is probably the pineapple flower. Seriously adorable.
Baby Bok Choy with Crispy Shallots and Sesame Seeds
1 pound baby bok choy
2 small shallots, peeled and slicked into very thin rings
1/2-inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
Slice off the stubby base of the bok choy from the white, thick bottoms. If the bok choy is longer than 3 to 4 inches, slice the stems once or twice into large chunks. Place the bok choy in a large bowl or salad spinner, fill the bowl with water, and slosh the bok choy around to clean (it can be a little sandy, so do this a few times). Drain and shake off any excess water (if using a salad spinner, give it a spin). Set aside.
Heat the peanut oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced shallots, separating them in the pan with a slotted spatula. Fry gently in oil for 5 to 6 minutes until they're deep golden brown and crisp (it will take a while to get past the soft fried stage, then all of a sudden the shallots will start to crisp, so watch carefully so as not to burn them). Remove the shallots form the pan with a spatula or spoon and set aside onto a plate (it's okay if a few bits remain in the pan). If no oil remains in the pan, drizzle in a little extra oil.
Quickly sauté the grated ginger for 15 seconds. Add the bok choy and stir to coat with oil and ginger. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes until the green leaves start to wilt. Add the mirin and soy sauce, stir briefly, and cover the pan. Steam for 2 minutes, then remove the lid. Stir for about 30 seconds more and remove from the heat. Transfer the bok choy to a serving plate, top with the fried shallots, sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds, and serve immediately.
PS: If you're using regular bok choy (I did half and half): slice the white stems away from the leavy tops. Chop the stems into 2- to 3- inch chunks. When ready to cook the bok choy, place the chunks in the pan first and sauté them for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the green leafy parts as directed.
edit: Amy Groark pointed out that I forgot to credit Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero for this recipe. I promise this wasn't intentional! While I may edit a recipe or two on this blog to keep it vegan, I definitely don't have the skills to make my own recipes from scratch (at least not yet!).