This is a quick and simple dish that is mouth-wateringly delicious. The trick is in getting the heat right and paying close attention to the cooking time, making sure not to over-cook the bok choy.
My favorite part about this dish is the Sichuan peppercorns. If you are not familiar with them, they may be a bit overpowering at first, but if you are addicted like I am, you will not be able to get enough. They make your tongue tingle and give somewhat of a numbing sensation, which, perhaps surprisingly, is what makes them so addicting! If you can’t find them at your local market or would rather leave these out, you can use red pepper flakes for heat.
My three-year-old devours this (without the peppercorns or red pepper flakes…we’re working on that), so it is a regular dish in our household. It goes great over rice and with some grilled tofu, or just on its own as a vegetable side dish.
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2-inch grated ginger (or minced)
- 2 medium bunches bok choy, well cleaned and sectioned
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp chinese Sichuan peppercorns, or 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (leave out both if cooking for kids)
- Salt (optional)
- Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan or wok with a tight-fitting lid. Once simmering, add garlic, ginger, and peppercorns and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant but being careful not to burn, about 30 seconds.
- Add the bok choy and fold it into the garlic-ginger mixture using tongs until coated, about 1 minute. Add the soy sauce and water and cook, covered, for about one minute, until steam accumulates. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are just wilted, about 2 minutes. The stalks should be fork tender but still crisp, and most of the water should have evaporated.
- Turn off the heat, stir in the sesame oil, and season with salt.