Monday, September 28, 2009

First Yield of the Season with Bok Choy Recipe (virtually free)

I just harvested my first bok choy from the garden and we cooked it up for a delicious Monday night starter. I bought the plants as seedlings from the East Bentleigh Market and they have been growing along nicely for about 2 months. I harvested this plant when I noticed that one of the others had gone to seed, while another seemed to be separating and forming clumps. I wanted to savour it as closely as possible to its original so I made a starter dish using pretty much only the Bok Choy itself. The rest of the plants seem to have bolted to seed and I will need to dig them out and remove them from the patch, as there are Brocoli in amongst them and as far as I know they are likely to cross polinate and produce seeds that are either sterile, or that resemble some fast bolting broc choi or bocoli. I guess its disapointing that for the $2,50 I paid for the punnet of seedlings, I have only produced 500g of edible produce. The upside is that if I follow the permaculture principle of "obtain a yield", I can harvest a lot more than the 500g we ate. Firstly, I have harvested the knowledge that:
1. I should not grow brassicas together, or at least not at the same time.
2. Buying seedlings that may be stressed or root bound can lead to fast bolting (to seed).
3. A recipe for savouring a harvest of Bok Choy.
More than that, I am able to harvest the seed from the plants and grow more in future, so even if it just cost me $2,50 for 500g of the vegetable, I will be able to grow another batch and if I get 10 plants, then they will all have cost me less than 25 cents.
So here's the recipe:
1. 500 grams of coarsely chopped organic Bok Choy grown no more than 10 steps from the back or front door
2. 2 cloves of garlic chopped finely
3. half a teaspoon of dried chili or chilli paste
4. A splash each of Soy sauce and rice wine vinegar
5. 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and a splash of sesame oil
Start with Chilli and garlic in hot oil on a flat pan or wok. Add the Bok Choy and mix it all up for half a minute. Steam a little longer on a low heat. Garnish with Coriander and serve.

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