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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Warm Bok Choy & Mushroom Salad with Crispy Garlic

I'm back!

It was a splendid retreat to Barbados. The three of us splashed in the ocean, walked along the beach and filled our bellies with flying fish.

While on holiday, our hotel room had a small stack of high quality glossy magazines which really were adverts for duty free shopping, sport facilities (golf, polo!), and restaurants on the island. I never opened the duty free shopping or the sports magazine... There was only one magazine that was of particular interest to me. Not only did they have shiny photos of seared scallops, grilled tenderloin and glistening sashimi, they published feature menus from these establishments. I was obsessed with this little magazine. Night after night, I flipped through its pages dreaming of the culinary extravaganzas being prepared for the guests of this island.

This week's recipe was inspired by a menu item I found in the magazine.

It uses my favourite Asian green, Shanghai bok choy. It's very mild in flavour and holds shape fairly well. If you don't like bok choy or it's not available, you can also use other types of greens....baby spinach springs to my mind.

What I enjoy the most about this dish is the variety of textures... crunchy bok choy, meltingly tender mushrooms, crispy crunchy garlic bits.

This would be a wonderful accompaniment to grilled steak or seafood.

Warm Baby Bok Choy & Mushroom Salad With Crispy Garlic

2 garlic cloves roughly chopped
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb baby Shanghai bok choy, washed & separated
1 lb assorted mushrooms (eg. oyster, shitake, etc.)
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce

approximately 1 tsp lemon juice (about 1 wedge of a fresh lemon)
s&p to taste
sesame seeds

1. Heat a large frypan on high-medium, add 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Swirl around pan. When it shimmers, add garlic & turn down heat. Cook garlic until golden and caramel in colour. Do not allow it to burn. Set aside.
2. Roughly chop baby bok choy into bite-sized pieces.
3. Heat remaining vegetable oil on high heat. Add mushrooms, saute on medium heat until mushrooms lose their firmness. Add bok choy until wilted. Stir in mustard powder, ginger, soy sauce and oyster sauce. (Taking care not to leave the vegetables in the pan in too long.)
4. Add lemon juice. Taste, then adjust salt & pepper to your liking.
5. Return the crispy garlic to the dish. Add sesame seeds. Toss before serving warm.
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