Friday, July 12, 2013

Pak Choy & Mushrooms with Spicy Noodles

Thanks to Robert's green thumb and regular tending, we have a beautiful crop of pak choy this year--bok choy's miniature cousin. This is a wonderful vegetable for stir frying or sauteing.  The petioles (the stalks of the plant) are white and crunchy like celery while the top leaves are nearly like spinach. It is a member of the cabbage family, though it has a very mild flavor that lends itself well to spicy sauces.  For this recipe, I've sauteed it with mushrooms and garlic and used the veggies to top of a bowl of spicy peanut noodles.  You can eat this dish hot or cool (like a salad).  Sauteed or fried tofu would be a nice addition.

Pak choy needs to be carefully cleaned as the stalks tend to harbor a lot of dirt while the plant grows (like leeks).  For that reason, I usually cut the pak choy stalks into the size I want for the recipe and then place them in a large bowl of water, swishing them a bit to dislodge the dirt.  I then scoop up the floating stalk pieces and drain (the dirt will fall to the bottom of the bowl).

Pak Choy & Mushrooms with Spicy Noodles
Serves 2 generously as a main dish and 4 as a side dish

6-8 pak choy plants
8 oz. button (or any other kind, truthfully) mushrooms, cleaned and sliced into 1/4 in slices
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil or canola oil (to coat bottom of pan)
1-2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste

1/2 lb long, flat rice pasta  or use regular spaghetti or linguine

For the sauce:
3 tablespoons peanut butter
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons sriracha (or other chili sauce, or 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes)

Cut the stalks from the leaves of the pak choy plants.  Slice the stalks into 1/2 inch slices and place in a large bowl of water to get rid of the dirt, and drain. (See directions above.)  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions.  Wash leaves in a bowl of water and drain.  Chop leaves and keep separate.

While pasta cooks, heat a large skillet and coat bottom with oil.  Add the garlic to the pan, stirring to prevent browning and saute for a few minutes until the garlic becomes fragrant.  Add the pak choy stalks to the pan and stir, cooking for about 3 to 4 minutes until the stalks soften a bit and stirring occasionally.  Add the mushrooms and stir, cooking for 3 to 4 minutes or so until mushrooms (and pak choy) begin to give up their juices.  Add leaves to the pan--no need to stir--and cover so that the leaves, stalks and mushrooms steam a bit.  This should take no more than 3 or 4 minutes.  Remove cover, stir around and check that the vegetables are done to your liking.  Add salt and pepper to taste and drizzle the sesame oil over the veggies.

In a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients and set aside.  Drain the pasta (if using rice pasta, rinse with cold water and drain well again).  Return pasta to pot and stir in sauce, being sure to coat all of the noodles.  Divide the noodles among individual bowls and top each with a portion of the vegetables.  Serve with more sriracha sauce, soy sauce and/or a drizzle of sesame oil.

No comments:

Post a Comment