The first time we saw this in the market, both mom and I thought that this was a cute version of a "Mini-Me" petchay (also known as Pak Choi or Chinese Cabbage). But both of us had no clue how to prepare this that everyone in the household would love. We have tried to add this in nilaga (Boiled Beef or Pork Stew) and in noodle dishes. Mom's friend suggested to cook this with oyster sauce. True enough, everyone loves it, so I am sharing this with you to try our version.
3 bundles (about 1/2 kilo) baby bok choy, cleaned and washed
2-3 tbsps. garlic, minced
2 tbsps. oyster sauce
3-4 tbsps. of water or stock
1 to 1 1/2 tsps. sesame oil
1 to 1 1/2 tsps. sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch mixed in 2 tbsps. water or stock
Slice the bok choy clusters in half. Make sure that the sizes are almost uniform so that it would have the same cooking time.
Make sure that the baby bok choy are free from dirt and yellowish leaves are discarded or trimmed off. In a large deep bowl of water, immerse each cluster in the water and shake to loosen the dirt off. Once all clusters have been cleaned, run through the bok choy again in running water then set aside. This is to make sure that all the soil and dirt are washed off.
In a pot, boil about 2 cups of water with a tablespoon of salt. Blanch the bok choy for about a minute. Quickly remove the bok choy and place them in a cold iced bath to preserve the color and stop from over-cooking. Once it has cooled, drain the bok choy and arrange on the serving plate.
Mix the oyster sauce, sugar, sesame oil and water in a small bowl until blended well and sugar has dissolved. set aside.
In a wok, saute minced garlic until slightly toasted but not burned. Add the sauce and make it simmer for about a minute or two. Pour in the cornstarch solution and mix well until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and pour over blanched bok choy. Serve immediately.
To store, place in a sealed plastic bag unwashed in the vegetable crisper. This will store for 3-4 days.