Bok Choy with Dried Scallops is a good illustration of how a simple basic ingredient like can turn an otherwise plain vegetable dish into something special. Bok Choy is the vegetable of choice in this recipe, but the basic idea works well with almost any other greens.
Ingredients for Bok Choy with Dried Scallops
- 2 or 3 good-sized Baby Bok Choy;
- 4 large dried Scallops;
- ¼ cup of water;
- 1 tbsp. Rice Wine;
- 1 tsp. Cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp. Water;
- 1 tsp. Sugar;
- 1 tbsp. Dark Soy Sauce.
NOTE: The 4 scallops used here are very large. This was done more so that the shredded flesh could be seen well in photographs but, in truth, is a bit extravagant. You can easily get away with using smaller ones and still end up with a wonderfully enhanced flavor.
The first step is to blanche the Bok Choy by boiling it in salted water for a minute or so and then plunging it in to cold water to stop the cooking and preserve the color. 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, if necessary, enough water (or even chicken stock) so that you have about a half 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. It is 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, and continue until the vegetable is all cooked through and you can see a bit of toasty-brown coloring on a few of the pieces.
Finally, add the scallop and the sauce mixture and continue to stir until the sauce has thickened. Plate and serve immediately while still piping hot.