Monday, May 19, 2008
by kale daikon
The setting: Dinner time, around the kitchen island at Katrina's house.
My roommate: Mmm, that looks good, what are you going to do with it?
Me: Um, probably just stir-fry it with some garlic and that salty magic mushroom seasoning my mom gives me. I got it from the Hmong stand at the farmers' market. I don't usually cook bok choy but these were so cute. Look at the little yellow flowers! (brief giggle)
My roommate: That's Chinese broccoli.
Me: No, it's not. It's bok choy. Baby bok choy.
My roommate: I used to work at the farmers' market. And I'm half Chinese. That's Chinese broccoli.
Me: You worked at the Ferry Building. Selling lavender. This is from the Noe Valley market. From the Hmongs. The sign said "baby bok choy."
My roommate: It's Chinese broccoli.
My roommate: [Silence.]
Now that I have the floor to myself, I'll say again, I swear it's baby bok choy. I think. Doesn't bok choy have white stalks and Chinese broccoli, green? Either way, it was fresh 'n' crunchy even after wilting in the frying pan. I also like to put bok choy in soup, like in a broth with diced tofu or with soba noodles and a base of miso, rice vinegar, and sweet sake (mirin).
I bought this little bunch from the Sunny Farm family-run stand at the Saturday morning Noe Valley farmers' market on 24th St. at Vicksburg, in the parking lot across from my favorite bookstore ever, Phoenix Books! Every time I head toward the stand, which comes at the end of the line, Erin mumbles, "I don't think they're organic," but I just pretend I don't really know what she's talking about. They admit to using Round Up twice a year but they also use compost, mint, and hand weeding. You can check out the stats on the farmers' market vendor page. Besides, the mom, Pao Thao, shares a name with my mom, Thao, so they're almost like family.