Sunday, 12 August 2007

gochujang salmon w chilli & ginger bok choy

I must admit I have been very remiss and haven’t been blogging much of late. Work is very busy, I have been writing articles for a travel website called and Jonas has been home nights so we actually get to spend time together. I hardly want to be attached to the computer when I could be hanging out with him.

Nonetheless, I am going to make a concerted effort to blog at least two or three times a week again. Starting today with this bok choy WHB post.

You couldn’t ask for a more simpler recipe than stir fried bok choy. First you blanch it a little to soften it, then you fry it with oil, ginger and chilli. The End.

And it tastes marvellous.

Bok choy can be eaten stir-fried, blanched and steamed. You can add it to stir fries, noodle dishes, soups and you can use young leaves in salads. Tougher leaves can be pickled and since they are cool climate plants, usually grown in spring and autumn, they lend themselves to various types of preserving for winter months.

Bok choy has bright green leaves with paler, chunky, smooth surfaced and oval shaped stems. In fact its shape is a bit like a squat celery bunch.

In English speaking countries, bok choy also known as buk choy, pak choy, pak tsoi, Chinese chard, Chinese celery cabbage and Chinese white cabbage.

Chilli & Ginger Bok Choy
Jonas’ very own recipe. Serves 2.
1 bok choy
2 tablespoons diced bamboo shoots in chilli oil
1 teaspoon minced red chilli
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1. Blanch bok choy in boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Pat dry.
2. Heat sesame oil in a wok.
3. Add garlic, chilli and ginger then stir until fragrant.
4. Add bok choy and stir until thick stem softens a little.
5. Add bamboo shoots and heat through. Remove from heat.

I ate the bok choy with steamed rice and salmon marinated in gochujang - a Korean chilli paste. I first discovered it on a shopping expedition in Chinatown and it’s turning out to have many uses.

Gochujang (고추장) is not too spicy and has quite a sweet flavour. Apparently it’s made from glutinous rice powder (or wheat or barley), soybeans, chilli powder, salt, sugar or honey and then fermented in the sun. It comes out a dark red colour and is quite sticky (at least the brand I use is). Wikipedia claims gochujang was invented in the 1500s, as soon as chilli made its way to Korea, and that there’s a similar paste used in Szechuan cooking too.

Gochujang Salmon
Anna’s very own recipe. Serves 2.
2 salmon fillets
1 tablespoon gochujang
1 teaspoon red miso paste
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Sesame oil for frying
1. Mix the gochujang with the miso paste, soy sauce and lemon juice then smothered over salmon. Refrigerate and leave for 1-2 hours.
2. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add salmon and cook to your liking.

Weekend Herb Blogging is being hosted by the Panamanian gourmet, Melissa, from Cooking Diva. Be sure to click over to her blog to view the results of our international cooking frenzy.




  1. Hmmm, so green and delicious! Thank you for joining WHB#95!

  2. I like bok choy and use to use it when I lived in the U.S. I rarely see it here.... must look more carefully. Both that and the salmon sound delicious!

  3. I love bok choy and this looks very tasty.

    I think it's ok to pace out the blogging to handle whatever is happening in your life, and people will still appreciate what you're writing about when you have time to do it. Glad you are getting to have some fun time with Jonas too.

  4. I'm happy to see that Melissa is doing better and has finally posted the recap for this WHB. Thanks for being so patient.

  5. Both look terrific, the salmon mouthwatering. I have both salmon and bok choy on hand (I hope, if I haven't let the bok choy languish too long in fridge). Would you mind sharing the brand of gochujang you use? I may not be able to find it here in US but maybe ... had read this was good stuff, but when I went to an Asian mart to look for it, I was so bewildered I left without any. I am, however, addicted to Huy Fong's chile garlic sauce, which has been going onto potatoes and eggs and you name it, and their sambal olek. So I'm pretty sure gochujang would be to my liking! --vera


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