Sweet Sour Spicy Quickled Baby Bok Choy

Invariably when I use the word "quickle," someone will comment on how brilliant a portmanteau (<--- new word for me) it is. Alas, I cannot take credit. I heard it on an episode of Chopped and also thought it brilliant. ;)

Yesterday when I was making carnitas for dinner, I took the other half of the pork butt and made Vietnamese Caramelized Pork of it in a tagine in the oven, which is a great low maintenance way to stew or braise meats to a melty tenderness. That Vietnamese Caramelized Pork, along with steamed jasmine rice, will be our dinner tonight.




To cut some of the fattiness of the pork and to provide a flavor and textural contrast, I'm taking some baby bok choy that's held up remarkably well for the past 3 weeks in the fridge and making a sweet, sour and spicy quickle of it.

Any leftovers will be perfect for the whole, head-on Vietnamese Steamed Chicken I'm making with LAM tomorrow for Tet. This would also be delicious served aside satay skewers, or eaten with ramen or a cold Asian style noodle salad.


Sweet Sour Spicy Quickled Baby Bok Choy

Makes about 1.5 cups
Time: About 45 minutes, but only about 15 minutes active time

You can also make this recipe with regular bok choy or Napa cabbage.


- 6 cups baby bok choy that's been sliced into roughly 1/3" strips on the diagonal (this was about 3 medium heads of baby bok choy, whatever the size of the baby bok choy heads, you'll want to measure out 6 cups of it to work with the rest of the measurements)

- 2.5 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 to 1.5 Tablespoons sugar
- 1.5 to 2 Tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 1 to 1.5 Tablespoons chili garlic paste or sambal oelek (you can use sriracha in a pinch)

Optional (and delicious) additions:

- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- toasted sesame seeds for garnish

1) In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the bok choy with the salt and toss thoroughly. Let it sit for 30 minutes to extrude water, re-tossing once or twice during this time to make sure the salt is redistributed.





2) After 30 minutes, you'll see quite a bit of water has extruded from the bok choy. Take the bok choy in large handfuls and squeeze firmly in a two-handed fist to press out the excess liquid and set aside in another bowl. This salting, extruding and squeezing process is what lends the bok choy that lovely pickled crunch. :)





3) Add the remainder of the ingredients, starting at the lower end of the measurements and mix thoroughly. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes and serve.







Leftovers can keep refrigerated in a tight lidded container for up to a week.

Enjoy. :)

shinae

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