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Cultivated in China since ancient times and introduced in Europe in the 1800s, bok choy is currently grown in both the United States and Canada. It has white stalks that resemble celery without the stringiness and dark green, crinkly leaves that are similar to romaine lettuce. Normally associated with Chinese cuisine, it has been slow to make its way into "fusion" cooking. 

This member of the cabbage family can be cooked or served raw. A common ingredient in soups, stir-fries, salads, and main dishes, it has a light, sweet flavor and is high in Vitamins A, C, and calcium. A ½-cup serving has only 10 calories.  

When fully grown, bok choy will be 8 to 10 inches in length. Its baby form will be 6 inches.       

Sriracha Chicken Stir-Fry

             2 tablespoons sesame oil
            1 tablespoon minced garlic
            1 tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce
            1 tablespoon tamari sauce
            1¼ pounds chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
            ½ pound asparagus, cut into 1/1-inch pieces
            ½ pound bok choy, chopped
            ½ yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
            ½ red bell pepper, cut into thin strips 

In a large skillet, heat sesame oil over high heat. Add minced garlic, Siracha hot sauce and tamari sauce and sauté 1 minute until combined. Add chicken and sauté until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken and set aside.  Add asparagus ,bok choy, and yellow and red bell peppers and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are moist and tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Return chicken to vegetable mixture and cook until heated through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Serves 2. 

Selection: Good quality bok choy should be thick, firm and fleshy. Its leaves should be crisp and green, and its stalks should be plump and firm. Poor quality bok choy will have wilted or spotted leaves with limp, discolored stalks. 

Preparation:  When preparing bok choy, trim and discard the base and any bad leaves. Separate the stalks and wash and drain them.  

Storage:  When placed in perforated, plastic bags and refrigerated, bok choy will keep for 3 to 4 days.   

           

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