Sunday, August 14, 2011

Shiitake, Sugar Snap, and Bok Choy Stir-Fry

When I was a kid, I had the cliched dislike of peas, and although I would sometimes even pick them out of soup, I always adored sugar snap and snow peas. As an adult, I still don't love plain peas, but can still gobble up massive quantities of any kind of peas in their pods (this is not an exaggeration-I have eaten an entire pound of sugar snap peas by myself in one sitting). And while I can't get enough of fresh, crunchy raw sugar snap peas, they also are one of my favorite stir-fry ingredients. Stir-fries can be carefully conceived dishes, or a quick and delicious way to use up odds and ends of vegetables, and this stir-fry is somewhere in between. I bought sugar snap peas with the intention of making some sort of stir-fry and fleshed out the recipe after picking up the other ingredients that simply struck my fancy at the farmers' market that I thought would go well with the sugar snap peas. The classic stir-fry Asian flavors of garlic, ginger, soy, and toasted sesame oil blend harmoniously with the fresh and crunchy peas and bok choy and earthy mushrooms and let the veggies take center stage in this dish. The next time you're staring at an odd collection of ingredients in the fridge or want to frame a dish around an ingredient that just looked too good to pass up at the farmers' market (my eternal problem), think no further than a stir-fry!

Shiitake, Sugar Snap Pea, and Bok Choy Stir-Fry
adapted from Food and Wine
serves 4

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil 
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces shiitake or oyster mushrooms, sliced
1 pound baby bok choy, stalks cut into 1/2-inch pieces, leaves shredded
1/2 pound sugar snap peas
4 teaspoons soy sauce
2-4 cups cooked brown rice, for serving

1. In a small glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the ginger, lemon juice, sesame oil, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper. Set aside.
2. In a wok or a large nonstick frying pan, heat canola oil over moderately high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add the bok-choy stalks and mushrooms and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the peas and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the soy sauce and cook, stirring, for 1 minute longer.
3. Add the bok-choy leaves and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to the pan. Cook, tossing gently, until the leaves just wilt, 1 to 2 minutes. Add vinaigrette and toss to coat. Remove the pan from heat and serve warm over brown rice.

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