Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chinese Spinach with Oyster Sauce and Roasted Garlic

For our last Chinese New Year meal, I decided to go simple.  We had two pounds of yu choi (Chinese spinach) sitting in the fridge, and a pound of shrimp that I defrosted last night.  Unfortunately, the shrimp wasn't quite defrosted.  But after realizing just how much yu choi we had, we decided that we didn't need the shrimp after all.  And after a week of fairly elaborate and/or heavy meals, it was pretty nice to just sit back and stir-fry some veggies.  We took this recipe from The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook, which has become my go-to for easy weeknight Asian meals, and modified it just slightly.

Served with some steamed rice, this was a very satisfying light meal.  These stir-fried veggies would be a perfect side dish to almost any Chinese meal.  I would eat it with Chinese roast pork, roast duck, salt and pepper shrimp - just about anything.  It is both sweet and savory.  The roasted garlic is delicious.  Definitely don't skimp on the garlic or the ginger.

Recipe after the jump!

Chinese Spinach with Oyster Sauce and Roasted Garlic
Adapted from The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook
by Jaden Hair

2 lbs Chinese Spinach (yu choi) or Chinese broccoli (gai lan)
1/2 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
2 tbsp dry sherry (or Chinese rice wine)
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp peanut oil
12-15 garlic cloves, peeled and gently smashed with the side of a cleaver
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled, cut into 1/8-inch coins and smashed with side of cleaver
6 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp salt
pinch ground white pepper

Mix together chicken stock, sherry and sugar in a small bowl.  Set aside.  Washing Chinese spinach and trim 1 inch from the bottom of each stalk.  

Heat a large wok over medium-low heat.  Add the cooking oil.  Once the oil gets hot, add the garlic and ginger.  Fry until just golden-brown on all sides, about 3-4 minutes.  Turn the heat up to high.  Add Chinese spinach.  Using tongs, toss the spinach until every stalk has been coated in the oil.  Pour stock mixture into the wok.  Cover with a tight-fitting lid.  Reduce heat to medium and steam vegetables for 2-3 minutes, until the stalks can be easily pierced with a fork or paring knife.

Remove Chinese spinach from the wok and place on a plate.  Discard ginger coins.  Add oyster sauce, sesame oil, s&p to the wok.  Reduce sauce over high heat until thickened, 2 minutes.  Pour sauce over Chinese spinach.  Serve with rice.

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