Serving a fat filled main course like grilled spareribs usually means I will try to complement it with something reasonably healthy. This dish of stir fried bok choy with oyster sauce and garlic literally takes 3 minutes to cook. First, select fresh bok choy (light green stems rather than more common pechay which also works for this recipe), take it home, wash it well in cool water and store slightly damp in paper towels in a plastic bag in the vegetable drawer of your fridge. If you started out with slightly wilted bok choy, this treatment will result in crisper, livelier leaves a few hours after sitting in the fridge. They will also stay fresher for about 1-2 days after.
This variety is sometimes referred to as Shanghai or green stemmed bok choy. I like it because the green stems are just as delicious as the green leaves. The curved shape also seems to catch whatever sauce you cook it with. They seem to have less of the bitterness that sometimes creeps into the localized varieties of pechay. This recipe also works for kalian, broccoli, etc. Served with steamed white rice, it makes a great vegetarian meal. Add some fat filled pork and it’s Marketman heaven.
To make, heat a pan up on high heat, add some vegetable oil a few whole cloves of garlic and add the bok choy to the pan. Toss the bok choy very rapidly to avoid burning the delicate leaves. Add the oyster sauce and toss some more. Once wilted, remove and serve hot. There is a school of thought that says you never stir fry such a delicate green and some Chinese cooks suggest that you steam it very briefly until wilted or braise it in say a chicken stock and serve with a light soya sauce on top. I happen to like it stir fried so I do it this way. Remember that you need tons of leaves to make one serving. It shrinks a lot once it hits the hot pan.