There’s nothing like a simple, classic Stir-fry. When I was in cooking school, I took a one-week long class in Chinese Cooking with Chef Ken Hom. Chef Hom lived across the Bay in Oakland. Our class was small, about a dozen of us and it was right inside the his kitchen, which had a built-in wok.
(This post may contain affiliate links at no additional cost to you, which help off-set the cost of running this site.) On the final day of class, we took a walking tour of Chinatown in San Francisco where he taught us how to choose the best vegetables, condiments, fish and meats. I still visit my local Chinatown for my sauces, spices, and sometimes more unusual vegetables and noodles, which are generally far cheaper than a chain grocery store.
One of the not-so-unusual vegetables in my classic stir-fry is bok choy, or the more tender baby bok choy.
If you cannot find either of these, rapini, broccoli or even Napa cabbage would work as well. This is actually two recipes, stir-fried greens, and a classic Stir-fry sauce which can be use with any type of protein and vegetables.
I love my wok, even if I’m not cooking Asian food, as the heat travels up the sides. Sometimes I’ll pull it out just for veggies or Pork-Fried Rice. I had an electric, Teflon-lined wok, which I eventually got rid off, and now I use a simple stove-top wok which goes directly over the burner on my stove, like this one (don’t forget the ring!) You can see what Chef Hom looks like 33 years later, with his line of cookware. (Affiliate link)
My friend Angela, who was born in Hong Kong and raised in London, is a great resource for traditional Chinese recipes. Her dad and mom owned Chinese restaurants in both London and Denver. Angela prepares her greens very simply, by blanching them and then finishing them with a quick sauté. For the stir-fry, I consulted my stand-by resource, Cook’s Illustrated, adapting their Gingery Stir-Fried Chicken and Bok Choy recipe.
The family loved this classic stir-fry and requested it again a few nights later. Double the sauce recipe and keep half in the fridge for a super quick meal mid-week. One nice thing about using baby bok choy, over the mature bok choy, is that the ends are tender enough to eat. I noticed when plating, that those ends looked just like little roses.
I hope you enjoy the classic stir-fry recipe, too.
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon chili oil
- 1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
- Stir-fry Marinade
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce or tamari for gluten free
- 1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry
- 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 Tablespoons corn starch
- 1 pound skinless boneless chicken breast, diced into 1" chunks
- 1 pound baby bok choy Shanghai bok choy or combination of greens, sliced
- Combine marinade ingredients, soy sauce through corn starch into a bowl.
- Toss in chicken pieces. Cover and refrigerate while preparing sauce.
- Combine broth, Chinese cooking wine or sherry, corn starch, honey and ginger in a small bowl, set aside.
- Heat 1 Tablespoon peanut oil in a wok or large skillet until smoking, add half of the chicken pieces, and cook for 1 or 2 minutes.
- Flip chicken pieces and continue cooking another 1 or 2 minutes. Remove chicken, and add, minced garlic, stir fry for 10 or 20 seconds, then add, baby bok choy, stir just a minute, add sauce and chicken and continue stirring until sauce thickens and chicken is cooked through, about 1 minute. Stir in oyster sauce. Garnish with sesame seeds.
- Serve over rice.
Following Angela’s method for greens, is Broccoli Rapini with Garlic and Cashews. Sautée it with plenty of garlic, and a handful of cashews. It is the perfect side dish to simple Roasted Chicken for dinner.
Leftover greens are a great addition to Singapore Hot Pot. I love that “Asian Greens” are now just a regular addition to the produce in my local grocery store, and that I don’t have to go to a special Asian store to purchase them. If your local grocery store doesn’t carry what you want, let them know!
This recipe will be great alongside the classic stir-fry.
Broccoli Rapini with Garlic and Cashews
- 1/2 pound broccoli rapini bok choy or spinach
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 Tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil for frying
- 1/3 cup raw cashews coarsely chopped
- Kosher salt to taste.
- Red pepper flakes for garnish
- In a large pot of rapidly boiling salted water, blanch rapini, whole for 2 minutes.
- Drain and plunge in ice cold water to stop cooking. Drain.
- In a small bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, sesame oil and sugar
- In a large saute pan or wok, heat oil over a medium high heat until smoking.
- Add garlic, sesame oil and rapini and chopped cashews and stir fry for 1 minute. Next, add vinegar, sesame oil and sugar mixture stirring another 30 seconds.
- Add salt and red pepper flakes to taste.
Here are some additional items I use when I’m making any kind of Asian dish. (This is an affiliate link of which I make a small percentage, at no additional cost to you which helps off-set the cost of running this site. Thank you!)
Dear Cynthia, this looks so good! What a healthy and delicious weeknight meal! xo
Taylor Kiser says
Oh I noticed that too about the baby bok choy ends! They do look like little roses! Very cool! This stir fry looks so delicious!
Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious says
So easy, so good, so pretty! There is no reason for takeout when we have this recipe.
Christina | Christina's Cucina says
Rapini may just be my very favorite green veg, EVER! I wish I cooked more Asian dishes more often as I love them, but they’re just not in my usual repertoire and I forget to try them! Your dishes look and sound sooo good!
Thank you Christina!
Chef Mimi says
Ohhh, lucky you! What a fun class that must have been! San Francisco’s Chinatown is my favorite. We took the kids when they were 12 and 10 and the 10 year old decided to become a vegetarian at that visit. She’’s still not a meat eater, but is a pescatarian, still at 36. It was just too much for her! Anyways great recipe.