Bok Coy in Oyster Sauce is a very popular vegetable side dish in Chinese Cuisines it is usually served as an accompaniment to dishes like roast pork, roast chicken, barbecue pork, Hainanese chicken rice to name some. It is a simple dish made out of blanched vegetable called Bok Choy or Pak Choy then dressed with Garlic infused Oyster Sauce.
Now I had been using oyster sauce in a lot of dishes but never had really investigated on the origins of this versatile sauce. I guess as a start most of us know it is from a Chinese origin as this sauce is dominant in most of their dishes, it is made out of oyster essence, sugar, salt and water then is thickened with cornstarch but it’s not just the Chinese cuisine that uses this sauce even the Thai, Vietnamese and Khmer cuisines. According to history this sauce was created by Kum Sheung Lee (founder of Lee Kum Kee) when one day he was cooking the usual oyster soup that he sold in his small eatery, he lost track of time until the normal clear soup was reduced to a thick brown sauce, he then tasted and found out that the accidental sauce that was created had a very delicious taste. This then inspired him to sell the sauce. So in 1888, he started Lee Kum Kee Oyster Sauce House and mass produced the now popular Lee Kum Kee Oyster Sauce. Initially the ingredient for oyster sauce was just oysters that were reduced and caramelized to a brown colour, competitors have arrived and copied the same recipe but the method of reduction was expensive so modern types of oyster sauce was born and is now created with oyster essence, thickened with cornstarch and darkened with caramel. For me I am using Lee Kum Kee brand ever since how about you do you suggest a better brand? Perhaps the one with higher percentage of oysters.
- 1 packet bok choy leaves (around 250 gms)
- 4 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp of sesame oil
- 3 tbsp of oyster sauce
- ¼ tsp cornstarch, just enough to thicken
- 3 tbsp water
- Cut bok choy bunch into half lengthwise then blanch it together with a tsp of salt in a pot of boiling water. Run in cold water, drain and place in a plate.
- In a wok, heat the oil and sauté garlic until golden brown. Remove garlic from wok then set aside.
- In a container mix together oyster sauce, water, light soy sauce and cornstarch, place in the wok then boil until sauce thickens.
- Add the fried garlic and give it a mix then turn the heat off.
- Pour sauce in top of bok choy then top with sesame oil.