30 Jan2010


It doesn’t get much simpler than this. Lightning fast stir-fried bok choy with black bean sauce is delicious, filling, relatively healthy and economical…


Start with some nice bok choy, and cut it into quarters, using the root end to keep the leaves together. I didn’t get to the kitchen in time to prep all of this so the crew had plucked off the other leaves. But for best results, cut into quarters and wash/soak very well as sand/soil tends to get stuck between the stems.


Next prepare a black bean sauce. This is a recipe I think came from one of Martin Yan’s cookbooks from several years ago, though I don’t measure anymore so you’ll have to adjust to your taste. Some say 1/2 cup of chicken broth, two tablespoons of blak beans or black beans in garlic sauce, a tablespoon or less of cornstarch, some sesame oil, cracked black or white pepper, a touch of rice wine and a touch of soy if you like, though the black beans can be quite salty. Mix this all up and set aside.


Into a hot large work, add about a tablespoon of vegetable oil, some minced ginger and garlic and saute for a few seconds. Add in a mini-mountain of cleaned and cut bok choy and stir vigorously, aggressively or maniacally until just slightly wilted, say 60-75 seconds at most.


Add the black bean and broth mixture and stir some more.


Once the sauce thickens a bit, and the greens are just wilted but still tender/crisp, take of the heat and serve immediately.


I had a generous serving of bok choy with a thin slice of grilled tanguigue or spanish mackerel, and about 2/3 cup of red rice for a roughly 600 calorie lunch the other day. Yum. If you also stir-fried some mushrooms, that could take the place of a meat or fish if you wanted this to be a totally vegetarian meal.

All photos except the last one are by AT. MM was cooking.



  1. QueenB says:

    Great! I was just thinking about what to do with the bottle of black bean sauce I have in the fridge. I’ll just get some buk choy and with mushroom sounds good too! Thanks!

    Jan 30, 2010 | 5:33 pm


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  3. silly lolo says:

    Whoooey! Now you’re talkin’! This is exactly the cooking level that suits me. Stir/mix/cook, eat in about 32 seconds! Y’see, I set my priorities right a long time ago. Less time cooking/eating means more time for sex!!!!!

    Jan 30, 2010 | 8:26 pm

  4. Footloose says:

    Sillylolo, just wondering when exactly did you advise your new physician of your former occupation. Was it before, during or after she gave your naked body a once-over?

    People who use a large receptacle for steaming their rice can just dump the washed vegetables during the final phase of cooking and come up with a vegetable dish with even less fat.

    Jan 30, 2010 | 9:10 pm

  5. Tonito says:

    MM, when you said “add a mini-mountain of cleaned and but bok choy…” did you mean cut? Also, it’s mackerel not mackarel. I hope I’m not being a pain…

    Jan 30, 2010 | 9:50 pm

  6. Mom-Friday says:

    My kind of dish!!! more like this please (“,) This made me remember I have a bottle of black bean sauce! Your bok choy looks so fresh MM. For the more lazy cooks like me, I just stir fry bok choy (or broccoli, or lettuce) with some garlic and oyster sauce, add cornstarch water to thicken if I feel like it.

    Jan 30, 2010 | 10:26 pm

  7. Jewel says:

    Is bok choy the same as pechay? Just wondering.

    I had to smile at your instructions to stir the sauce *vigorously, aggressively or maniacally*. Maniacal is how it feels some evenings when I am hurrying to get dinner fixed.

    Jan 30, 2010 | 10:37 pm

  8. thelma says:

    i haven’t tried cooking bok choy this way. i will try your recipe, mm.
    usually, i just cook it lightly in chicken broth…or add them to
    my kare kare.

    Jan 30, 2010 | 10:43 pm

  9. Nina says:

    I was smiling while reading your description of “vigorously, aggressively or maniacally” stirring; got the point, MM. Silly Lolo, you’re really a character…….what a way to start your day ……that is why I love, love this blog!

    Jan 30, 2010 | 10:51 pm

  10. kurzhaar says:

    I learned a similar dish from a friend of Chinese descent (although I have no idea if this is a traditional Chinese dish): stir-fried bok choy, extra-firm tofu cut into ~1 inch cubes, and fresh shiitake mushrooms with a mixture of black bean/garlic sauce and chile sauce. A variant is to use tofu skins (not sure of the Chinese name for this), although I’ve found it’s not to everyone’s taste.

    Jan 31, 2010 | 4:13 am

  11. farida says:

    Hi MM, I love bokchoy cooked this way.The veggies looked so fresh.
    Out of topic here but with the lechon thread line.. did you know you are on youtube. My high school classmate emailed it to me because her distant relative was on it. I thought it was you she meant but it is a Mr Alonso, food expert. But you are on it too doing the lechon. Let me know if it is alright to put the link here.

    Jan 31, 2010 | 5:01 am

  12. mary grace says:

    i can eat this side dish everyday. i too love the baby bok choys stir fried in oil with garlic and patis and a dash of black pepper.
    mm, your wok has a very nice sheen to it.

    Jan 31, 2010 | 5:33 am

  13. Marketman says:

    mary grace, yes, we are REALLY happy with the developing sheen, and try to use the wok at least 3-4 times a week to keep the process going… farida, I suspect that is a clip from the jessica soho episode, I suppose its okay to put the link, the episode was on the GMA7 site for a while, kurzhaar, I know what you mean about the tofu skins, in a morbid mood, it’s how I imagine some human parts/epidermis might feel like if dried (gross thought, I know). Nina, if I were really good at it, I wouldn’t even need utensils and just keep tossing contents by moving the pan… :) Jewel, bok choy and pehay are similar or closely related. The variety used here has a wider crunchy pale green stem. Tonito you are absolutely right again. I have no excuses besides low caloric intake. I am usually in a hurry, so I type posts directly onto the blog, without using word and a spell check mechanism before transferring to the blog. No, it’s not a pain, I appreciate your taking the time to let me know, it will be revised shortly. Footloose and Silly Lolo, while I have never met either of you, allow me to be familiar and say that you might appreciate what one of my brother in-laws calls his proctologist… a “pwetologist”… hahaha. That’s it for sinking to bathroom humor. Notice how only Silly Lolo is allowed to get away with it without edits from MM. Have a good Sunday. :)

    Jan 31, 2010 | 10:13 am

  14. jayjay says:

    I love love love your site! i’ve been reading non-stop! this bok-choy looks really yummy! However, is it possible to know where you got the wok..Thank you in advance marketman!

    Jan 31, 2010 | 12:20 pm

  15. millet says:

    oh, coincidence…our lunch today was stir-fried bok choy with black bean/garlic sauce and grilled tuna collar (panga)!

    Jan 31, 2010 | 12:58 pm

  16. farida says:

    Ok,gals and guys. Enjoy! It is our very own Mr MM on the youtube, if you have not seen this yet…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aElqOblBM00 . Just copy and paste. Sorry, the link did not transfer and I am very computer illiterate.

    Jan 31, 2010 | 1:55 pm

  17. Cecilia says:

    Will definitely add ths to my diet regimen! Thanks!

    Jan 31, 2010 | 2:23 pm

  18. silly lolo says:

    Footloose: It was after the body examination. Why do you think she laughed so hard!!!
    MM: Thanks for the “edit” pass. Frankly, I initially thought this blog was some sort of religious cult blog. All the comments were so nice, proper, courteous. So very Pinoy. No that that’s a bad thing.
    Just so Victorian and thus old fashioned. But then I threw out a few “bon mots” and lo and behold, I hit upon some repressed
    souls and the rest as they say is history! I actually noticed the “edit pass” early on and honestly appreciated that you allowed my silliness. One of these days, we shall meet and the drinks will be on me.

    Jan 31, 2010 | 2:59 pm

  19. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    This was one of my favorite comfort food while living in the bay area. After a long day working with chocolate (at Charles Chocolates SF), I’d come home and make this dish over a bowl of steaming rice…Sarap!!

    Silly Lolo, its nice to know that you are up and about and that your mind is as green as ever!…hahaha

    Jan 31, 2010 | 7:27 pm

  20. Betchay says:

    Silly Lolo’s comments are one of the spices in this blog.Go, go, go!

    Jan 31, 2010 | 8:00 pm

  21. Connie C says:

    Silly Lolo, I am one of the repressed souls of the petticoat days. But I know green when I see one and it lights a fire! Thanks for the added spice and for MM to so indulge you.

    Jan 31, 2010 | 10:02 pm

  22. Lenlen S. says:

    *really love this blog, sooo funny and yummy!

    Feb 1, 2010 | 11:01 am

  23. Joyce says:

    ohh MM, your wok is looking great! the chinese lloove their bok choy although maybe not as much as the koreans love their kimchi. it is the default vegetable here; used as side dish for mains, appetizers, soup, fried rice heck even bok choy-filled siopao with tofu is popular.
    this is a great use for the bottle of black bean sauce i have at home

    Feb 1, 2010 | 3:36 pm

  24. Marketman says:

    jayjay, the woks we use were purchased in HK by a friend. Apparently they have a HUGE selection of woks on offer… I have several posts in the archives on the woks when they first arrived, seasoning them, etc. You can see the progression of its patina over the past few months from several dishes cooked in them and featured on this blog…

    Feb 1, 2010 | 7:15 pm

  25. Lilibeth says:

    I scrolled down and I saw this recipe. I will surely make this. This plus a little rice is already a meal for me or even mushrooms (love it!) and rice.

    Feb 2, 2010 | 6:34 am

  26. Footloose says:

    Pwetologist is certainly more meaningful for Filipinos, and fundamentally poetic too.

    Brought back a cartoon that I saw years ago, in either Playboy or the New Yorker, a retired doctor that looked liked he had peeped at the worst and his unpleaseable looking wife being ushered into a medical convention ball. Caption says: They are a perfect pair. He is a proctologist and she is a pain in the ass.

    An edit pass, Sillylolo, is the equivalent of lifetime achievement award. Congratulations.

    Feb 2, 2010 | 11:42 pm

  27. evelyn cruz says:

    i did this simple recipe… and i got my 3 boys eating vegetables….it was a hit!!! thanks Mr. MM

    Feb 20, 2010 | 6:11 am


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