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Sunday, January 8, 2012

sautéed yu choy sum with plum sauce

I know you may be wondering what the heck yu choy sum is, but I will get to that in a minute.

First, let's talk about me.

I was craving vegetables this week. Abundant Harvest Organics took the last two weeks off from delivering veggies for the holidays, and I used the time to clean out what we have stored. (There seems to be a problem with our secondary freezer, and we are hoping that defrosting it helps). I also wanted to make sure that we were at zero veggies in the fridge, so that there would be room (in our crisper drawers, our bellies, and our hearts) for AHO to come back. So, by the time we got our delivery this last Saturday, I was more than ready to eat something fresh and green.

As I was emptying the box (an event which truly does seem like a little mini Christmas every Saturday), I had to stop halfway through and start eating. There was a bunch of yu choy sum that was begging to be enjoyed as fresh as possible.

I learned, on my visit to Peterson Family Farm (the headquarters of Abundant Harvest), that the veggies that I get every Saturday morning were picked on Thursday, sorted on Friday, and head off the farm at the break of dawn on Saturday morning. Since the farm is some 150 miles from my house, and since I receive my box at 8:00 in the morning, I suppose those truck drivers actually leave long before dawn breaks.

Anyway, I know that the vegetables I receive are, at the most, two days out of the ground. It seems like some of them ought to be eaten right away, and others (say, turnips) deserve to sit around in my fridge a while before I decide what to do with them.

The yu choy sum didn't spend a second in my house before it was on its way to the lunch table.

So, what is yu choy sum, you ask? Let me tell you what I learned.

First of all, it isn't yu choy, of course. Yu choy would just be the leaves, silly. What I had included stems and flowers, and therefore was yu choy sum. (I learned that choy sum translates to "flowering stem.")

It is related to bok choy, of course. They are both members of the choy family, and the choy family is related to cabbage. And I love cabbage.

Let me put it to you mathematically:

I like cabbage. Yu choy sum is cabbage. Therefore, according to the transitive property of addition, I like  Yu Choy Sum.

And you should too.

So, given that I had some yu choy sum that I was destined to love, I dove right in. I sautéed it and had it for my lunch Saturday (such was my craving for a vegetable), but it would really make a better side dish, especially with an Asian meal.

That was the best lunch I have had in weeks! (Except, of course, the chicken salad you made for our picnic the other day, Mom. Ahem.)

I took the tender yu choy sum, and sautéed it lightly in olive oil. Don't use too much oil, or the sauce won't stick at all. Once it is getting a bit tender, and starting to brown on the leaves, turn it over and let the other side get some heat. When both sides are a teeny bit brown, take it out of the pan, and drizzle it with plum sauce. I used the sauce I made during the great plum invasion last summer, but you can buy it in most supermarkets. Just drizzle a tablespoon or two (depending on how you like it).

The yu choy sum is sweet and tender, and delicious! Enjoy!