The State of Washington, culinarily speaking, is apples, cherries, wheat. It is wild salmon, crabs, oysters and mussels. And it is mushrooms, a plethora of them. Western Washington’s coastal rainy climate means there are evergreen forests and woodlands galore, which is a boon for avid mycologists, foragers and hunter-gatherers. But the cultivation of mushrooms, especially shiitakes, is a thriving business throughout the state, too, and these can be found simply by going to the grocery store.
Many restaurants there use a pan-Asian palette of ingredients, influenced in part by the Asian-American communities that make up a significant part of the state’s population. Though it may not immediately conjure images of Thanksgiving, this woodsy-looking dish pays tribute to those flavors, and the spirit of cultural mashups on the holiday table: gorgeous glazed shiitakes and tender green bok choi sparked with ginger, sesame and hot pepper.
- 2 pounds baby bok choy
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 small dry red Chinese hot peppers
- 1 pound shiitake mushrooms (about 4 dozen), stems removed
- Salt and pepper
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
- 6 scallions, sliced diagonally, for garnish
- 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
- Nutritional Information
Note: Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available data.
Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)
135 calories; 8 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 12 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 6 grams sugars; 5 grams protein; 609 milligrams sodium
6 to 8 servings
- Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cut off and discard stem ends of bok choy. Separate leaves, rinse and drain. Drop leaves into boiling water and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until barely cooked. Immediately remove, rinse with cool water, drain and pat dry. Arrange leaves in one layer on an ovenproof earthenware platter, then set aside.
- Put a large wok or cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add oil and heat until nearly smoking, then add hot peppers and shiitake caps, stirring to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Stir-fry for 2 minutes. Reduce heat slightly and add garlic, ginger, sugar, sesame oil and tamari. Stir-fry for 1 minute more.
- Spoon shiitake and pan juices over reserved cooked bok choy. Serve at room temperature, or if you prefer, reheat covered with foil for 10 to 15 minutes in a hot oven. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds, if using.