After featuring Chinese Dried Scallops in a recent ‘Foodstuffs’ post, I decided to use some in a very simple vegetable preparation that beautifully illustrates how this basic, yet flavorful ingredient can enhance an otherwise plain dish. Baby Bok Choy is a favorite vegetable in our household and the succulent greens really do well when treated this way…
- 2 or 3 good-sized Baby Bok Choy;
- 4 large dried Scallops;
- ¼ cup of water;
- 1 tbsp. Rice Wine;
- Chicken Stock, about ¼ – ½ cup.
- 1 tsp. Cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp. Water;
- 1 tsp. Sugar;
- 1 tbsp. Dark Soy Sauce.
The first step is to blanche the Bok Choy and, for instructions on this step, you can take a look at my Baby Bok Choy post and follow the basic steps outlined there. Once done, slice the individual Bok Choy lengthwise into 6 or 8 wedges, trimming away any tough portions of the stalk.
Next, put the dried scallops in a small bowl, cover with the ¼ cup of water and the rice wine and then steam this for about 30-45 minutes until soft.
Once the scallops have cooled, drain (reserving the steaming liquid) and shred the scallops into their component fibers. Then mix the reserved steaming liquid with the cornstarch mixture, sugar and soy sauce, and add enough chicken stock so that you have ½ to 2/3 of a cup of sauce mixture.
Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in your wok until it is almost smoking and add in your Bok Choy. I find it a good idea to slide the individual pieces stem first into the oil so that these thicker pieces cook first. Afterwards, toss gently, so as not to break up the wedges too much, until the vegetable is all cooked through and you can see a bit of toasty-brown coloring on a few of the pieces.
Now add the scallop and the sauce mixture and continue to stir until the sauce has thickened. Plate and serve immediately.
I actually ended up with very nearly a full cup of sauce when I cooked this and it was just a bit more than the dish needed for this amount of Bok Choy. It didn’t affect the taste quality of the dish, by any means, but it didn’t add to the final appearance in a good way, I thought. Besides that, the dish was really nice and the greens were delicious. The amount of scallop used was a bit extravagant, but I was concerned with you being able to see the pieces in the photographs and used a bit more than I normally would. Probably, half as much would be just as good. Anyway, this is a dish I urge you to experiment with as it is very simple to make and the results are superb…