This is the 3rd recipe in the series "Greens Glorious Green" and I will be preparing steam baby bok choy aka pop chow or pak choi. However I must tell you about my trip to a Korean store when I first moved to this country.
Going in search of pop chow aka pak choi?
Craving for some steamed baby bok choy, I made a trip to the store to purchase some pop chow or so I thought. In Jamaica we know this green and white leaf vegetable as pak choi but most of us call it ‘pop chow’ and spell it the same . So I proudly asked for ‘pop chow’ and received a bewildered look, perhaps my accent and the strange name did not register in the upper part of the green grocer’s brain. He said “no, none” and used his head to gesticulate further, “none.” So I moved on and while walking around the store I found the vegetable, but to my surprise it was called Bok Choy. There it was written on a piece of card board and propped up behind a stack of them. I smiled with the realization that one vegetable had two names.
Years later I was speaking to my sister Bubbles who still lives in Jamaica. I was giving her ideas about vegetable stir fries and was rattling off a list of vegetables that she could use until I mentioned bok choy. She said “what?” then I caught myself and said “pop chow man! same thing, but that is what them call it over here.”
I frequently make all the varieties of bok choy but I am more in love with the baby version. There are several ways to prepare it. Sometimes I stir fry it with a medley of carrots, cabbage, mushroom and bell peppers. More often I like it lightly steamed on its own with oyster sauce, ginger, garlic and onions. I can’t tell you how delicious this dish is. You just have to try it and let me know what you think. Trust me, I am a meat lover but sometimes all I need is this steamed baby bok choy over a bowl of steaming white rice.