I decided to take advantage of a half day at work and headed to H-Mart to pick up some Asian provisions. Mr Minx and I went a little crazy in the produce department, coming home with baby bok choy, Asian eggplant, Chinese broccoli, shiitake and oyster mushrooms, sugar snap peas, poblano peppers, several kinds of rice noodles, smoked tofu, and turnip cake. The fridge is completely full of vegetation, but that's a good thing, since it's usually the other way around in this house.
That night, we had a vegan feast.
Baby Bok Choy with Shiitake Mushrooms (adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian)
8 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed
2 t cornstarch
1 cup vegetable broth
1 T soy sauce
1 T Xiao Hsing wine or dry sherry
1 1/2 t sugar
2 t toasted sesame oil
1 lb. baby bok choy, halved or quartered, depending on size
2 T canola oil
3 small cloves garlic, sliced
1 t chopped fresh ginger
1/4 t salt, or to taste
Put the cornstarch in a bowl. Slowly add the stock, mixing as you go. Add soy sauce, wine, sugar, and sesame oil. Mix well and set aside.
Blanch bok choy in 4 quarts of rapidly boiling water. When crisp tender, remove from pot and shock in a large bowl of ice water.
Place oil in a large sauté pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, add the garlic and ginger and stir fry for about a minute. Add the mushrooms and stir for a few more seconds. Put in the well-drained boy choy and stir for another 30 seconds or so. Stir the cornstarch mixture and pour into the pan. Cook until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Hot and Spicy Szechuan-style Eggplant (adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian)
1 pound Asian eggplants
2 T canola oil
2 scallions, cut crosswise into fine rings
3 thin slices of peeled ginger, diced
3 cloves finely chopped garlic
5 t soy sauce
2 t sambal oelek
2 t sugar
2 t rice wine vinegar
salt to taste
1 t toasted sesame oil
Cut eggplant into 2" - 3" lengths, on an angle.
Put the oil in a wok or sauté pan and set over high heat. Add the scallion, ginger, and garlic and stir fry for one minute. Put in the eggplant and stir for another minute. Add soy sauce, sambal oelek, sugar, and vinegar and stir. Lower heat and cover the pan. Check and stir occasionally, until the eggplant has softened and collapsed and the sauce is thickened and sticky, about 10 minutes. Stir in sesame oil and sprinkle with cilantro before serving. Serves 4.