Bok Choy and Shiitake Mushroom Stir Fry – a very easy and quick vegetable dish that goes perfectly with rice. It is a great accompaniment to other rice dishes or to have by itself as a main meal.
It’s been a crazy few months here in Australia. We’ve had raging bush fires burning up most of the south east coast to storms with hail stones the size of golf balls. Here in Canberra, we were covered in a thick smoke that for a few weeks we had the worst air quality in the world. Fortunately, the weather is finally settling down now, and we’re trying to get our sense of normalcy back, including getting back to some good basic home cooking!
Ways to Quicken Up the Soaking
The longest part of this recipe is softening the dried shiitake mushrooms. It roughly takes about an hour but if you are in a bit of a hurry and cant wait that long then here are some tips on how to hasten the soaking period:
- Always use boiling water.
- With a pair of scissors, cut the stems off and the mushroom cap in half. The stems will take the longest to soften, so you may want to consider omitting them.
Don’t Fry the Mushrooms
Many bok choy and shiitake mushroom stir fry recipes will tell you to fry the mushrooms. I avoid doing this because I personally believe they become harder and chewier. Instead, for this recipe I prefer to boil them in the sauce so that they absorb the flavour and moisture. Cooking it like this will soften and allow the shiitake mushroom to absorb all the flavours of the sauce.
My Tips for Success
- Washing the Vegetable – Since we are cutting the bok choy lengthwise, it will be harder to wash off the dirt. My method of cleaning is to first cut the vegetable up then submerse them in a large bowl of water. Move them about with your hands and repeat. Then I will finally rinse them under a tap while checking in between the leaves for any leftover dirt. Seems like a lot of effort but it is well worth it in avoiding biting into dirt.
- Maintaining the Crunch – It is very important to this dish that you maintain the crunchiness of the vegetables. To do this, cook the veggies to about 90% and then serve. The residual heat will cook it through without over doing it.
Other Vegetable Options
This recipe uses bok choy (also known as pak choy) but you can also make it with:
- Choy sum – Using this vegetable will require less cooking time.
- Gai lan (Chinese broccoli) – I like to add the stems first to the fry pan since they will require longer to cook. Allow them to cook for a minute and then add the leaves.
- Broccoli – Treat broccoli like you would with bok choy.
Other Similar Recipes
- Clear hot and sour soup
- Chinese eggs and tomatoes
- Cheap and Easy Soy Sauce Chicken
- Tofu and Mushroom Mince
Bok Choy and Shiitake Mushroom Stir Fry
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 cups boiling water
- 8 dried shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 500 gm Bok choy, (approx 4 bunches) washed and cut into quarters lengthwise
- 3 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tsp Chinese cooking wine
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp reserved mushroom soaking water
- 2 tsp water
- 1 tsp cornstarch
Wash the mushrooms with water then soak the shiitake mushroom in 2 cups of just-boiled water for 1 hour.
Prepare all your ingredients and the thickener.
Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside until needed.
In a fry pan on medium heat, add the garlic and fry for 20 seconds.
Add the sliced mushrooms and the sauce to the pan. Allow to cook for 4 minutes.
Turn the heat up to medium high and add the bok choy to the pan and cover with a lid. After 1 minute, gently flip the greens over and cook for another minute.
Take the lid off and check if the greens are about 90% done. If not, let it cook further.
Once 90% done, give the cornstarch mixture a stir and add it to the pan. Stir until thickened.
Serve with rice.