Xiao Bai Cai is Bok Choy’s cousin, and can be made into an easy vegan dish without the use of Oyster Sauce (my usual go-to)! Here’s how.
Vegan food is something I dabble in quite frequently, simply because I revel in the option to have a vegan or vegetarian meal if I prefer. With green leafy vegetables, I normally put them in a skillet with a little garlic, chilli (when I feel like it) and douse liberal amounts of Oyster Sauce to get everything engaged. I love the intense, bold saltiness that comes from Oyster Sauce; it also means that I do not have to add salt to the dish to finish it off.
Sick of my own OS obsession, I decided to take the road less travelled when it comes to Xiao Bai Cai and go Indian with it. Vegetables such as Kailan, Bok Choy and XBC aren’t native to India, so it’s hard to come across this combination. Doesn’t mean it’s not doable, or not extremely delicious!
You will need:
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Tsp Mustard Seeds, black or white
400g of Xiao Bai Cai, stemmed and washed thoroughly
1 Red Onion, peeled and sliced into half-moons
2 Chilli Padi, chopped finely (more if you’re adventurous)
1 Tsp Turmeric
1 ½ Tsp Cumin Seed Powder
Salt to taste
You will need to:
Heat up the oil in a large skillet, adding the mustard seeds to the oil. The seeds will start popping soon enough, after which you need to add the sliced red onion and saute with plenty of patience and love. When the onions go soft, add the chilli.
After about a minute, the onions will start getting brown around the edges. Here’s when you work quickly: add turmeric and cumin and stir to mix. Then, add the greens.
Stir to wilt and cook down, which should take around 4 to 6 minutes. Go carefully here and turn off the heat when you feel the greens are cooked enough. I like wilting the leaves completely, you can have them however you like.
Salt to your heart’s content. Stir through to allow the salt to melt into the greens.
Serve warm with rice.