I’ve served up greens before in this blog, but it’s time to make them more specifically Asian-themed.
I keep any good-looking root vegetable green I find at farmer’s markets (although I don’t care for radish greens — a little too physically “prickly” for my taste). They’re best eaten a day or two from procurement.
You can do this recipe using any sort of cooking green, too — kale, Swiss chard, spinach, baby collards — including more specifically Asian greens — Napa cabbage, bok choy, mitsui greens, and so forth.
This makes a great side! Maybe accompanying a nice black bean soup, or perhaps some Asian-themed seafood. (Since I made this for breakfast the other day, my “main” was some Chinese steamed dumplings — given to me by a co-worker — and a fried egg.)
I used beet greens in this dish — there weren’t very many — 4 beets! — and the greens were small, but I’ll scale up in my description/ingredient list to how I’d have treated these were root greens from a full, regular bunch.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: Range of 8 – 15 minutes, depending on your green(s)
Rest Time: Not applicable
Serves 2 as a side.
Asian-Style Cooking Greens, Pan-Fried (Featuring Beet Greens)
- 1 bunch cooking greens (tops from beets, turnips, kohlrabi, rutabaga, etc.; or cooking greens such as kale, Swiss chard, cabbage, bok choy, spinach, etc.)
- 1 medium leek (or 2 small shallots, or about 1/4 medium onion), peeled, trimmed and thinly sliced. Diced in the case of the onion; the roots and the dark green leaf tips removed in case of the leek. (Do make sure your leek is clean — dirt often accumulates between layers.)
- 1/2 inch of peeled, fresh ginger, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 4-5 teaspoons oil or fat for cooking: I used 1 part butter and 1 part olive oil.
- Ground white pepper to taste
- 4 tablespoons of a mild tamari — I use San-J’s brand of gluten-free, low sodium. (Even so, this is usually plenty of salt…)
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (hot or mild, or mix appropriately)
- 1/2 heaping teaspoon vinegar, preferably rice vinegar
- For the garnish: White sesame seeds (optionally toasted) and fresh cilantro, roughly chopped.
Prep your greens by washing to remove grit and so forth. Drain. Roughly shred. If the stems are edible, don’t discard, but use them in this dish.
In a skillet, get your cooking oil/fat up to medium high heat. When a drop of water sizzles, add the leek and ginger slices. Stir and mix for 3-5 minutes, or until your choice of allium becomes translucent. Add the garlic, and stir another minute. Add the greens, and the ground pepper.
With your spatula, mix around every 30 seconds or so or until the greens turn soft — this will take a differing amount of time depending upon what vegetable you are cooking. (Ie, spinach will soften nearly immediately.)
Meanwhile, in a very small bowl or ramekin, mix the tamari, sesame oil and vinegar together.
When the greens are done, but still have a little “body” to them, remove from heat, and pour the mixed tamari, sesame oil and vinegar over the veggies. Stir briefly with the spatula, then plate.
Sprinkle the sesame seeds and cilantro over the dish (as desired), and serve: