My husband and I often get asked about our eating habits – just what does an international married couple consume?
The truth is that we eat a varied diet that includes recipes from all over the world: including Japan, America, Korea, China, Mexico, and elsewhere. I enjoy making American potato or macaroni salad and burritos.. while other times, we might make gyoza, soba noodles, or stir fry. Masashi will eat pretty much anything, but we both like to eat healthy, without wasting too much energy on cooking and meal prep.
Since we are a multi-generational household, food (and shopping) is something that we communicate about as a team. When it comes to cooking and cleaning up afterwards, we all pitch in, take turns, and make meals a family event. It takes much less time that way, and it’s also a lot more fun.
The following is one of our favorite recipes: Bok Choy Stir Fry (bok choy is chingensai in Japanese, but most English speakers know the vegetable by its Chinese name). The recipe is quick to put together, healthy, and just too good not to share! We already ate it twice this week (it disappeared so quickly, that I forgot to take a photo.. we’ll try to get one to add to this post next time! This recipe is perfect for a day that you don’t have a lot of time or energy to spend in the kitchen.
Bok Choy Stir Fry 🍽👩🍳
Total cooking time: less than 20 min. (about 10 min. with help)
- A few strips of bacon
- Bok Choy (chingensai) – or a similar type of cabbage if it’s unavailable
- Bean sprouts (moyashi)
- Mushrooms – (buna-shimeji, or any other mushrooms)
- Green bell pepper
- 1 or 2 onions
- Olive oil
- A little flour
- Soy Sauce
- Chicken broth or bullion
- Ginger paste (optional)
- Garlic powder
Also required: a frying pan with a fitted lid.
Optional: boiled rice (to eat later with the stir-fry).
- Cut the bacon into small pieces (e.g. small rectangular strips), then fry in the frying pan (fry until crispy while doing the below prep). We use Japanese bacon, but any bacon will work.
- While the bacon is cooking, wash the bok choy, bell pepper, mushrooms, bean sprouts, and onion.
- Cut the bok choy, mushrooms, bell pepper, and onion into pieces, and set aside in a bowl (use ALL of the bok choy- there’s no reason to cut off more than a sliver of the bottom). Add the uncut bean sprouts to the bowl.
- If the bacon is finished frying, add about 1&1/2 cups of water to the frying pan.
- Add the following to the frying pan, to taste: soy sauce, chicken broth or bullion, a pinch of ginger paste/salt/pepper/garlic powder. The first time we used a little too much bullion vs. soy sauce, so it’s worth it to add ingredients gradually, and check the flavor with a spoon.
- While the above mixture boils, return to the bowl of vegetables previously set aside. Add a few spoonfuls of olive oil to the bowl, and mix until sure that all of the vegetables are covered in a *light* “oil coating”. This light oil coating is the secret to making the vegetables “saku-saku”, or crisp rather than overcooked.
- If the mixture in the frying pan is starting to boil, add all of the vegetables into the frying pan, and cover with a lid to steam for about 5 min.
- While everything is steaming, add a few pinches of flour to about a half cup of water, and stir until dissolved. Add this in to the mixture, and cover again.
- Continue steaming, but not long enough for all of the vegetables to “wilt”. The bok choy should be a delicious level of crispness.
- Plate and enjoy! 😋 💕
Did you try this recipe? Have another favorite recipe to share?
Please leave a comment below!