Gorgeous glazed shiitake mushrooms and tender green bok choy sparked with ginger, sesame and hot pepper work beautifully against more staid flavors, so consider serving them next to a traditional roast chicken or turkey. They also are delicious draped over a pile of rice.
2 pounds baby bok choy
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 small dry red Chinese hot peppers
1 pound shiitake mushrooms (about 4 dozen), stems removed
Salt and pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
6 scallions, sliced diagonally, for garnish
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cut off and discard stem ends of bok choy. Separate leaves, rinse and drain. Drop leaves into boiling water and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until barely cooked. Immediately remove, rinse with cool water, drain and pat dry. Arrange leaves in one layer on an ovenproof earthenware platter, then set aside.
Put a large wok or cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add oil and heat until nearly smoking, then add hot peppers and shiitake caps, stirring to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Stir-fry for 2 minutes. Reduce heat slightly and add garlic, ginger, sugar, sesame oil and tamari. Stir-fry for 1 minute more.
Spoon shiitake and pan juices over reserved cooked bok choy. Serve at room temperature, or if you prefer, reheat covered with foil for 10 to 15 minutes in a hot oven. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds, if using.