Sautéed Baby Bok Choy with Shallot and Fish Sauce
Why This Recipe Works
When preparing baby bok choy, two main issues arise: cleaning the notoriously dirty vegetables and getting the stalks to achieve a perfectly tender-crisp texture before the leaves get too limp. Unlike mature bok choy, which is often chopped into small pieces for cooking, part of the allure of baby bok choy is showcasing its diminutive size. In this recipe, we struck a balance by cutting the bok choy in half lengthwise; this provided access to the areas where most of the dirt and grit typically hide so we could thoroughly clean them, and it helped the vegetables cook more evenly than if they were left whole. An initial stint of steaming gave the stems the head start they needed to soften slightly before sautéing. A mixture of fish sauce, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes formed the base of a pungently spicy yet sweet sauce.