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Spicy Beef and Baby Bok Choy
I’m trying to get more consistent with keeping weeknight dinners quick and easy, especially since my husband has gone back to school. Never thought I’d be uttering those words in the same sentence. Husband and back to school. It doesn’t seem real.
This stir-fry beef and bok choy recipe is full of flavor and comes together with ease and simplicity.
Another thing that doesn’t seem real: finding out my father has been harvesting baby bok choy for the last five years and I had no clue. It might not seem like a big deal, but for years I have been searching my local markets in search of baby bok choy and have been told countless times I need to hit up the local asian markets. For years I have returned home frustrated when I could have picked up the phone and politely told him to go to whatever ranch it’s grown on and to bring me some still-dirty-from-the-field baby bok choy. I feel like I just learned the tooth fairy was my mom all over again. I’m being serious here.
I really shouldn’t be so shocked that he’s been keeping this a secret from me because he did the same with fennel and leeks. Instead, all he ever mentioned (and gave) to me was produce I’ve grown tired of: broccoli, broccolette (that’s broccollini), cauliflower, spinach and the list goes on and on. To those of you who don’t have the pleasure of having a loved one in the agriculture industry I probably sound like a spoiled brat, and I realize that when it comes to fresh produce, I am spoiled. I have the luxury of receiving produce harvested the same day it’s delivered to me without being sprayed with chlorine and other chemicals used to keep produce fresh as it goes from the cooler to the market.
So a couple of days after learning this massive secret, my father brought me a gigantic box of baby bok choy and I was a little too excited. My husband thought I’d gotten more wine delivered or something along those lines. And while most days I am super excited to receive unexpected wine, this delivery of baby bok choy was like a gift from God himself. I don’t usually get to experiment with bok choy because when I can actually find it, it’s usually expensive and I have a specific recipe in mind. This was my chance to have some fun.
One of my favorite things to order when we’re at an Asian-inspired restaurant is spicy beef and bok choy. Emphasis on spicy. Rather than recreate a recipe I’ve been using for years, I decided to add some extra vegetables that I love to cook with: bell peppers.
I’m giving fair warning: this is spicy. If you aren’t a fan of spicy foods, cut the red chile paste in half, but do not omit it all together.
A word on wine: Riesling is your friend. The natural acidity of Riesling is going to save your mouth when it comes to enjoying spicy Asian cuisine. Personally, I prefer to choose a dry Riesling with slightly less fruit and more minerality, however, if you prefer sweeter versions with more fruit, choose that. Two of my favorite go-to wines for this dish are Paraiso Vineyards Riesling ($18) which is slightly off-dry, and Morgan Double L Vineyard Riesling ($21) which is also on the dryer side, but is perfect with spicy dishes.
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon red chile paste
- 1 pound, stems trimmed and leaves separated baby bok choy
- 1, thinly sliced and seeded medium red bell pepper
- 1, thinly sliced and seeded medium yellow bell pepper
- 1/2, thinly sliced red onion
- 2, minced garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon, peeled and minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
- 1 pound flank steak