“Also known as “spoon vegetable” due to the shape of its stalks, bok choi is actually a brassica even though it grows into a head that’s more similar to celery. Frequently used in Asian dishes, bok choi is so healthy and such an excellent non-dairy source of calcium that it’s worth incorporating it into your dishes at every opportunity. Simply use it as an alternative to spinach or chard”

Fillet of beef laksa with bok choi

Serves 4

Ingredients

250g udon noodles (I use semi-wheat)
400g fillet of beef
3tbspn vegetable oil
Seasoning
4 tbspn curry paste (such as Rendang)
800g coconut milk
500ml beef stock
1 small butternut squash, in three-quarters of an inch cubes
4 bok choi, whole
4 spring onions, chopped
A generous handful fresh basil leaves
2 red chillies, finely sliced
1 lime

Method

Take a large saucepan and fill it with water. Bring the water to a boil and then add the udon noodles. Once cooked (in about six minutes), drain in a colander and then run them under cold water before setting the noodles aside.

Take the beef and coat it in vegetable oil and seasoning, then sear it in a large wok. Remove the meat to a chopping board and cut it into thin slices. Add the curry paste to the remaining juices in the wok and heat until the flavours are released before pouring in the coconut milk.

Mix well until you have a creamy red sauce, add the beef stock followed by the cubes of butternut squash, and allow to simmer for 10 minutes, then add the bok choi and cook for a further 10 minutes. Just before serving, add the thinly sliced beef to the wok and stir around.

To serve, place a small pile of udon noodles into each bowl and then ladle the laksa over it. Top with
a scattering of spring onions, fresh basil and chilli, and a squeeze of lime juice.

More ways with bok choi

Warm autumn salad with creamy bok-choi pesto

Heat a splash of olive oil in a pan and add 3 cloves garlic, 1 bok choi, 2 handfuls spinach and seasoning. Once cooked, place the wilted vegetables in a blender and add the juice of a lemon, 3tbspn Parmesan, a little olive oil and 2tbspn single cream. Blend until you have a sauce and taste for seasoning. In a moderately hot oven, roast root vegetables such as beetroot, carrots, butternut squash and red onion in olive oil and seasoning. Once tender, toss with a few fresh spinach leaves and basil. Serve drizzled with the bok choi creamy pesto and scattered with pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

Bok choi stir-fried with ginger

Heat a wok and gently toast 2tbspn sesame seeds, then set them aside. Heat a little sesame oil in the same wok and add 4 handfuls of sliced bok choi, 2 sliced spring onions and about 1tbspn grated ginger. Fry for about 4 minutes and add a splash of low-salt soy sauce. Serve with toasted sesame seeds scattered on top alongside teriyaki marinaded salmon.
 

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