I was DEAD-SET on having baby bok choy with my Lo Ba Bung (滷肉飯). No other side would do, since I didn't have time to make any swan tsai (pickled mustard greens). I figured I'd be able to find baby bok choy pretty easily, since I ALWAYS see them at the grocery store.
WRONG. I hit up Winn-Dixie, Publix, and Tokyo Market. No baby bok choy. I checked Whole Foods only to be told they were completely sold out and wouldn't have any more until the following morning. So I ended up hitting the Red Pearl/Super Oriental Market and, of course, found huge, beautiful bags of baby bok choy, for only $1.99 per pound.
This, like the lo ba bung, is REALLY quick to prepare. The bok choy is sauteed just until tender, and flavored with garlic, ginger and just a hint of spicy red pepper flakes, before being finished with nutty sesame oil. This took me right around 5 minutes, and I actually prepared it while I was cooking the lo ba bung. Even better, this side dish is both vegetarian AND vegan friendly (as long as you use tamari instead of soy sauce), without being bland or plain!
Sauteed Baby Bok Choy
adapted from The New York Times
2 Tbsp neutral cooking oil (I used grapeseed)
1 1/2" ginger root, peeled and grated
2 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 lbs baby bok choy (about 4 bunches), cleaned and trimmed
1 Tbsp soy sauce (tamari for vegan)
1 Tbsp water
Toasted sesame seeds
Place the oil in a large wok or saute pan with a lid. Add the ginger, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and heat over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is hot and the garlic/ginger golden-brown and fragrant, add the bok choy. Cook, tossing and stirring with tongs, for 1 minute.
Add the soy sauce/tamari and water, then cover and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Uncover and cook until almost all of the liquid has evaporated, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and lightly drizzle with sesame oil. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.