Boc Choi loves short days. Once the days begin to lengthen, it bolts. So, the season ends up being pretty short by the time I can get seeds planted in my wet, wet area, get the plants to grow to a size we can eat, and then eat like crazy before it starts to bolt. I don’t tend to plant very long rows, for those reasons. We do enjoy it, though, and it’s nice to have a crop that likes to grow in cooler, shorter, rain-filled days so I grow some every early spring and occasionally do a fall crop.
The first way we eat it is in stir fries. I use whatever vegetables I have on hand and usually splash in some gluten-free soy sauce. I start with the firmest veggies, such as onions and carrots, then add things like celery, boc choi stems, mushrooms, bean sprouts, etc., if I have them. The last thing I do is add the sliced leaves from the boc choi and then remove from heat when they are just wilted. If the leaves are too bug-eaten, I just use the stems and whatever I can salvage.
Another thing I like to do with boc choi is to put it in chicken or turkey soup.
Again, I chopped the stems up like celery and added them in when I made my soup. I added the sliced leaves in at the last minute and just wilted them down. There is not a strong flavor of boc choi in there, but it adds a pleasant, mild flavor to the soup.
Another thing I made this week using boc choi was spaghetti sauce. By today, I was completely out of celery, so I just chopped up some boc choi stems and sautéed them with a diced onion and some ground pork I needed to use. I added Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Then I added 1 jar of purchased spaghetti sauce and 1 pint of home-canned tomato sauce. I just let that simmer in the Crock Pot all day and we had it for supper. Again, there was no strong boc choi flavor, but the sauce was very flavorful and delicious. I feel that any time I’ve used it in something, it has taken on the flavor of the dish, and at the same time added flavor without being obnoxious or making anyone ask why it was there. Mostly, they don’t even notice it at all, but thought the sauce tonight was really yummy.
It made a really good birthday dinner for Patsy, who turned 13 today. I made salad from garden lettuce and a double chocolate loaf cake. I hadn’t made that cake for many years, and never gluten free. I only made one modification in the recipe I had used years ago, and Bob’s Red Mill One-To-One flour. It turned out great.