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Stir-Fried Ong Choy with Garlic

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When I was growing up, one of the few ways my mom got me to eat my veggies was by stir-frying them. Looking back, I'm glad it was this and not a broccoli milkshake.

Ong choy is a green, leafy vegetable native to East and Southeast Asia. However, because it has grown like a weed since its introduction to the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated it as a "noxious weed." Just to be clear, the USDA uses "noxious" in reference to the plant's effect on the environment, not my stomach. Ong choy, like the potato, was historically a food source for the poor but is now a common offering on menus.

This is an extremely quick and easy recipe for those nights when you're short on time.

Stir-Fried Ong Choy with Garlic

  • 1 bunch of ong choy (approximately 6 cups uncooked)
  • 6 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1. Thoroughly wash the ong choy of any dirt. Discard about 1 inch from the thick ends of the stalks. Cut into 2-inch sections. I was taught a much more involved process of breaking these long stalks down into shorter strips for frying but just cutting them is much more efficient and doesn't degrade the taste of the dish.

    2. In a large wok, heat the oil over medium high heat. When it's hot, add the garlic and cook for 15 seconds, or until fragrant. Immediately add the ong choy (before the garlic burns) and toss until all the leaves are evenly wilted, about 2 minutes. Serve with your favorite Vietnamese savory dish (such as braised pork and eggs), http://blogs.houstonpress.com/eating/2010/04/pork_eggs_in_caramel_sauce.php and you've just teleported to Southeast Asia for a meal.

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