Baby pak choy in superior stock

Baby pak choy in superior stock

Shang tang bai cai miao

By
From
Every Grain of Rice
Photographer
Chris Terry

In recent years I’ve become completely addicted to this Cantonese way of serving fresh green vegetables. The greens are first blanched, then served in a rich stock, conventionally a shang tang or ‘superior stock’ made with chicken, pork bones and ham. In restaurants, the basic dish is often embellished with a scattering of other ingredients, such as chopped salted and preserved duck eggs, mushrooms and chopped prawns (see variation), but at home I like to serve the simpler version, which is a wonderful complement to dryer or more boldly seasoned dishes. You can use this method to cook all kinds of vegetables, including green pak choy, pea shoots, asparagus, Chinese cabbage and fresh mustard greens. I’ve also used it for spring greens and purple-sprouting broccoli. (If you are using bulkier vegetables, cut them into bite-sized pieces before you begin: pak choy can be quartered lengthways.) This recipe is a great way of using up leftover stock, especially when you don’t have enough to make a soup.

Serve the greens in a bowl or a deep serving dish. Encourage your guests to eat the vegetables with their chopsticks, then spoon any leftover stock into their bowls as a soup.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
300g baby pak choi
or 300g other greens of your choice
450ml rich stock
salt
1 tablespoon cooking oil
ground white pepper

Method

  1. Trim the baby pak choy if necessary. Bring a panful of water to a boil. Heat the stock in a small pan.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon salt and the oil to the boiling water. Tip in the pak choy and blanch briefly until barely cooked. Drain and set aside.
  3. Season the stock to taste with salt and pepper. Add the pak choy and return to a boil. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the vegetables to your serving dish or bowl. Pour over the stock and serve.

Variation

  • Baby pak choy in superior stock, restaurant style: Blanch the pak choy as in the main recipe and lay it in your serving bowl. Heat 1–2 tablespoons oil in a seasoned wok over a high flame. Add any or all of the following: 1 hard-boiled salted duck egg, cut into segments or chopped coarsely; 1 preserved duck egg, cut into segments or chopped coarsely; a few raw prawns, chopped coarsely; a couple of mushrooms, sliced or coarsely chopped. Stir-fry briefly, then add the hot stock, return to a boil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the stock and other ingredients over your waiting vegetables and serve.
Tags:
Chinese
Sichuanese
Asian
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