I first made this after 3 days of eating my way through Dallas. There are so many adjectives I can and did use to describe my trip. Filling is the one that pops up first.
I loved this trip, a gathering of food writers who were invited to see what exciting culinary happenings were taking place in the fair City of Dallas. But when putting on and removing one’s jeans becomes actual physical exertion, you know it’s time to take a few days and explore a cleaner, simpler world.
So, while I did succumb to the call of the oversized New York City bagel that somehow seemed like the right thing to do at breakfast the morning after I got back, (some cycles are very hard to break), I did make this for lunch that day.
(P.S. I had some awesome greens in Dallas – the super-soft braised ones at Smokey John’s BBQ. The very simple al dente ones on the breakfast menu at CBD Provisions — greens as a side to eggs for breakfast? Those smart chefs — they were a perfect balance to the, uh, cheese grits).
Anyway, today my Clean and Spicy Asian Greens are not going to come on the side of anything, but rather be the honorable main course. These are very easy to pull together if you have this little collection of Asian ingredients in your pantry, and a knob of ginger in the refrigerator. And if you like Asian food, then you should definitely make sure to have fish sauce and sesame oil around. You can find plain toasted sesame oil, and also chili or spicy sesame oil – if you are a sesame oil person, get both, but make sure to keep them in the fridge after opening, as that will keep them from turning rancid quickly.
But back to my trip: no regrets — if Dallas is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
Clean and Spicy Asian Greens
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup minced shallot
- 3 tablespoons peeled and finely minced ginger
- 10 to 12 cups washed and sliced greens or baby greens (I used a mixture called Power Greens), rinsed and damp
- Coarse or kosher salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce or to taste
- 1 teaspoon Asian sesame chili oil hot or plain
- 1 to 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar white or cider fine, too
- Hot rice or any other grain of your choice, to serve
- Heat a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté for about 5 minutes until tender. Add the ginger and sauté for another two minutes, until fragrant.
- Serve hot, on rice.
- Add up to half of the damp greens, whatever will fit in the pot. Use tongs to periodically stir and shift the greens around until they wilt. Add more greens as you can fit them into the pot, toss and stirring every minute or so. When they are all in, add ½ cup of water, partially cover the pot, and toss every once in a while, until they are truly wilted and tender, about 10 minutes; add more water as needed to keep a bit of liquid going in the pot. When tender, add the salt, fish sauce and chili oil and toss to combine.
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