We’re doing vegetarian today. And it came about due to experimentation. I’ve long been a fan of collard greens, ever since I discovered them during my young manhood in the South. Collard greens always remind me, in a way, of bok choy, the archetypical Chinese vegetable. Though some may disagree, I’ve always considered they share the same taste and texture. So I began thinking, why not cook collard greens the same way as bok choy? Guess what? It worked. Even my wife, Holly, who loves collard greens but hates boy choi, took a shining to this dish.
So here it is, collard greens Asian style. When I was in the Southland, a long cooking time for collard greens was the tradition. Subsequently, I discovered that, if you cut the collards crosswise into thin slices, they can be done in 1 minute or so. They come out crisp-tender and the greens keep their color and full flavor. It’s the same method I used in this Asian innovation. Also, I’ve added all the ingredients used to cook bok choi. The results were marvelous. A whole new dish was created. Impress your family and friends with this one: Asian Collard Greens.
Added Note: as with bok choi, we served it with steamed rice. As mentioned, it made for a great vegetarian dish. You can also serve it as side dish, if desired. It’ll go great with fish, chicken, pork or beef.
ASIAN COLLARD GREENS
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3 pounds collard greens, rinsed, leaves halved lengthwise with stems and center ribs discarded
½ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili sauce (optional)
- Place sesame seeds in a large skillet or pan. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently until you can smell the sesame seeds and they turn a bit golden in color, 2-3 minutes. Watch carefully that they don’t get too brown. Place seeds in a small bowl or plate and set aside.
- Heat oil in the same pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute until you can smell the aroma. Add collards and stir for another 2 minutes. Pour in chicken broth, soy sauce and chili sauce (if using), and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan or skillet and cook the greens for about 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
- Transfer to a serving bowl with its cooking liquid and serve hot, with the sesame seeds sprinkled on top.
Yield: 6 servings.