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Bok choy with garlic

Normally when I cook bok choy I stir fry it a little with garlic, ginger, maybe some chilies, some soy sauce… or I might throw it into a bowl of ramen. I never put any thought into it. A couple days ago I asked my husband to pick me up some bok choy and so of course he brought back a mammoth-sized bunch of it. He rarely under-does things. So this stuff needed to be eaten pronto. Out of respect for the mass of fresh greenery, I decided to concentrate a little and do it right. A simple recipe, but done with care. All some fresh green produce needs. I made some udon noodles with fried bean paste sauce to go with it and this shall be our lunch and this shall be our dinner too.

Bak choy stir fried with garlic

2 large bunches of bok choy or 6 bunches baby bok choy
3-6 cloves garlic, minced
a light oil such as rapeseed
sea salt

1) Wash the bok choy thoroughly and cut into large pieces. Separate the white stalk pieces from the leafy greener pieces as they have different cooking times.
2) Heat up oil in a wok and then gently fry the garlic for a minute (do not brown) to flavor the oil.
3) Add in the white stalks first and fry on medium heat, stirring, until they are beginning to turn translucent.
4) Add in the leafy greens, sea salt and stir fry another couple minutes, till just cooked. Do not add soy sauce as it will make the vegetables a little mushy. Salt and garlic alone are delicious.

Udon noodles with fried bean paste sauce
serves 2
2 rolls of dried udon noodles (or fresh noodles would be best)
2 tsp soy bean or black bean paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh chopped ginger
1/2 cup chopped shitake mushrooms
3-4 tbs of Chinese cooking wine or 1/4 cup of light beer
1 tsp sugar
2 tbs chopped peanuts
light oil, such as rapeseed oil
julienned carrot, cucumber and spring onion for garnish

This is a quick noodle dish similar to Korean jajangmyun or Chinese zha jiang mian. I pretty much tried to make zha jiang mian but didn’t have exactly everything to hand so came up with this tasty version. Seriously, my husband and I were fighting over the chopsticks to eat it straight out of the wok.

1) Cook the noodles according to package instructions. Rinse with cold water, drain and set aside.
2) Heat up oil in a wok and gently fry the garlic and ginger for a minute. Add the mushrooms and cook for another minute.
3) Add in the Chinese cooking wine, sugar and the soy bean paste and fry for a few more minutes on medium heat.
4) Add in the chopped nuts. If the sauce is too thick, it can be thinned with a little water.
5) Turn off the heat. Add in the cold noodles and mix or serve on top of noodles with the vegetable garnishes such as cucumber, carrot and spring onion.

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udon noodles with soy bean paste
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