I received more bok choy in my vegetable box today – this was on top of the baby bok choy I received last week that I hadn’t used yet. I was in the mood to make another pasta dish, and thought about using the bok choy in a tomato-based sauce, then adding shrimp for protein. But after I had the onions chopped and the bok choy prepared I decided I was in the mood for something lighter. I started rooting around in my fridge to see what else I have on-hand, and spotted oranges. A nice citrus sauce sounded perfect, and would still be good served over noodles.
As usual, I did a web search looking at recipes for citrus stir-fry sauces. I wanted something simple, using ingredients I had on-hand (I didn’t want to make a trip to the store), but also light and healthy. Many of the recipes I saw used soy sauce and chicken broth, but I wanted fresh orange juice to be the main feature of the sauce. In the end I settled on using fresh orange juice, lemon juice (I had one lemon, so that determined how much lemon juice I could include), rice vinegar, sesame oil, and fresh ginger.
Once everything was cooking, I decided the sauce was a bit acidic for my taste, so I added honey. (In the recipe below I’ve suggested stirring the honey into the sauce before adding it to the pan, which is what I plan to do when I make this again. It’s just not how the recipe evolved as I made it this time.) This really brightened up the sauce and was a good addition.
Serving this over noodles is purely a matter of taste (I prefer noodles to rice). As I noted in an earlier post, I’ve been using rice noodles (rather than those made from wheat) lately. I found brown-rice pasta in the organic section of my grocery store, and used brown-rice spaghetti in this recipe. It was my first time cooking it, and I was pleased with how it turned out. Unlike the times when I’ve cooked whole-wheat spaghetti I couldn’t tell the difference between brown-rice pasta and traditional spaghetti.
Since this all cooks quickly, it’s helpful to have all of your ingredients assembled before you start:
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced (or roughly chopped, depending on your preference)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 heads bok choy, leaves separated from stalks and prepared separately. Finely slice the leaves (roll several leaves together into a cylindar, then cut into 1/4-inch slices). Cut the stalks into about 1/4-inch pieces as well.
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used 20-24 size shrimp since it was on sale – that’s usually how I decide what kind to buy).
- several Tbsp. cornstarch, mixed with cold water to form a thick liquid (you probably won’t use all of this, but I use so little corn starch that I don’t worry about mixing up more than I’ll need)
For the sauce combine:
- 1/2 cup orange juice (from 2 or 3 oranges)
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
- 2 Tbsp. honey
Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over high heat until it shimmers. Reduce heat to medium, then add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds being careful not to brown. Add onions, and cook stirring frequently until the onions start to get tender (about 5 minutes).
Stir in the bok choy stems, and cook (stirring frequently) for another couple of minutes. Add sauce to pan and simmer for about 5-10 minutes until the bok choy stalks are tender. Stir in about 2 Tbsp. of the cornstarch mixture, and simmer for a minute or two. If the sauce is not thick enough, add more cornstarch 1 Tbsp. at a time, cooking after each addition, until the sauce has reached your desired thickness.
Add shrimp and bok choy leaves to the pan. Simmer until the shrimp is just done. Remove from heat and serve over noodles (or rice if you prefer).