Sunday, January 10, 2010


Today I sat down with my veggies and we had a little talk. I had to explain to them, my sweet baby portabella and baby bok choy, that they were adopted. The news came as a bit of a shock. They knew I was apt to take recipes from anywhere and adopt them as my own. I'd make minor changes in those recipes and prepare them for guests and send those guests away talking about my chocolate espresso cookies (Gourmet) or my chicken tagine (Cooking Light) or my bean dip (Mas). But baby portabella and baby bok choy had no idea that they had been adopted too, even though their seasonings were of an East Asian descent.

I get recipes from so many different sources, I can hardly claim any of them as my own. But when you buy the chicken, trim the fat, season and brown the meat, and add a myriad of ingredients and set it bubbling on the stove for a good long time, when you turn out a dish with flavors that surprise and please your guests, it's like you've adopted that little recipe and raised it to its greatest potential. And sometimes when you can't develop your own recipes easily, or aren't very good at it, adoption is the perfect alternative.

Ultimately my babies accepted the news and went on to provide a great side dish for a steak. For this dish, I've taken the sauce from a Cooking Light recipe for tofu and green onions and poured it on my baby bok choy and sliced baby portabella mushrooms after sauteeing them. The sauce is tangy, with an Asian flair, and pretty easy to whisk up. I imagine it's versatile too, and can be used for dipping potstickers or drizzled over rice. Just be sure to have that talk with whoever you adopt into your family, and your guests will never know.

Baby Portabellas and Baby Bok Choy with Korean Inspired Sauce
(4 side dish servings)

2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons rice wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1/8 tsp of kosher salt
1/8 tsp of red pepper
8 heads of baby bok choy, with the bottoms chopped off.
12 baby portabella mushrooms, washed and sliced thinly

canola oil
additional salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together rice vinegar, rice wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, kosher salt, and red pepper in a bowl.
Prepare the bok choy and mushrooms. Cut the bottoms off the baby bok choy. The baby bok choy will be more tender than regular bok choy, so you can retain the majority of the vegetable. If using regular bok choy, use only the green portion. Slice the mushrooms thinly with a knife or mandoline. Add oil to a pan heated on medium-high. Add mushrooms to the pan, saute until starting to brown. Add baby bok choy and saute just until wilted. Remove from heat and pour sauce over vegetables. Stir and season with additional salt and pepper as desired.

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