Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Shiitake and Baby Bok Choy Stir-fry

Shiitake and Baby Bok Choy Stir-fry

Growing up in the 1960’s and 70’s, I was served simple, plain foods.  We always had meat, potato and some sort of frozen or canned vegetable.  Friday was fish sticks and Saturday was spaghetti.  Nothing fancy or exotic.  We had canned fruits, in heavy syrup, and there was always ice cream, chips and dip.  I don’t remember any fresh fruits or vegetables in the house except maybe some iceberg lettuce.  I don’t believe a mushroom was ever included in my folks cooking. In college, I started eating iceberg lettuce salads, sometimes adding a sprinkling of carrots and tomatoes but I certainly did not put mushrooms on my salad.  So imagine my surprise when a few months into our marriage (more than 30 years ago) my tasting partner asked me to buy sliced mushrooms for his salad.  What?  Mushrooms?

A few months later, at a holiday party, someone made stuffed mushrooms with the most beautiful, white mushrooms I had ever seen.  I tried one and it was delicious.  This was the beginning of my infatuation with mushrooms.  Now, since my tasting partner is demanding a ‘vegan at home diet’, I'm cooking with more varieties of mushrooms than ever before.

I found this recipe on a lovely site called “My New Roots”.  It's easy to make, and the shiitake mushrooms gives the dish a hearty, meaty taste. The maple syrup in the sauce adds just a touch of sweetness and my tasting partner says this recipe is a winner.

Baby Bok Choy and Shiitake Stir-fry

Serves 4

2 Tbls of coconut oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 each of baby bok choy
10 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 teas of crushed red pepper (or more if desired)
2 Tbsp. tamari
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
large handful Thai basil or regular basil

cooked grain to serve
sesame seeds to garnish


1. Brush dirt off mushrooms; chop into smaller pieces. Rinse bok choy well, shake off excess water and slice into strips. Set aside.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the coconut oil. Add minced garlic and crushed red peper; cook just until fragrant and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, maple syrup and about half the tamari. Cook until the mushrooms have absorbed most of the liquid and are soft. Add the bok choy and the remaining tamari. Stir to coat, remove from heat and cover. After about 5 minutes, fold in the basil and let it wilt.

3. Serve immediately over grain of your choice: brown rice, quinoa, millet etc. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy.

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