You have to laugh when a server in an upscale joint announces that the trendy veggie du jour is baby bok choy. You mean the greens that go for as little as 29 cents a pound at an Asian grocery? Actually, the stuff that's being flogged as "baby" is simply the small inner leaves of regular ol' bok choy, a locally grown veg whose white stalks have a crisp, celery-like texture (minus the strings), and whose green, crinkly leaves have a peppery spinach taste. Of the more than 20 varieties of choy, real baby bok choy looks like rapini and has tiny yellow flowers. Bok choy -- a cabbage cousin -- is high in vitamins A and C and low in calories.
This quick recipe for Boy Choy With Oyster Sauce requires little prep time. In a small saucepan, combine 2 tablespoons each of oyster sauce and chicken broth, 1 tablespoon of Chinese rice wine and 1/2 teaspoon of both sugar and sesame oil. Bring to a boil, stirring so the sugar dissolves, and cook briefly until sauce thickens. Wash 1 pound of bok choy -- or any Asian greens. Trim the tough bottom stems and either leave whole or cut into 3-inch lengths. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon peanut oil, then add the bok choy. Once the pot boils a second time, turn off the heat and let the pot stand for a minute until the greens brighten and are tender-crisp. Drain, plate and pour the sauce over the greens.