Prepare this meal when you have an unhurried hour to revell in the beauty of the vegetables and the fragrances of the ingredients. With or without a bed of (organically grown brown basmati!) rice under it, this makes a delectible one-dish meal. Really, any rice will go with it, but basmati has a wonderful aroma.
First, assemble and prepare the ingredients:
Have on hand, sesame oil for frying (not toasted sesame oil, although you may want to add a few drops of toasted sesame oil at the end as a seasoning), and organic tamari soy sauce, for seasoning.
Peel and finely chop: two medium sized cloves of garlic and a piece of fresh ginger root the size of your thumb
Peel and coarsely cut two medium yellow onions
Cut up two or three broccoli heads, first by cutting the stems off and cutting the flowering top into separate branches, then by cutting the skin off the stems and slicing them one quarter inch thick.
Slice a couple of fresh shiitake mushrooms into half inch wide slices
Wash, spin or shake, and cut in 1 inch slices, one large head or two small heads of bok choy
Open a small can of sliced water chestnuts, drain off the water and set aside the water chestnut slices.
Open a bag of oriental style mung sprouts (the long translucent ones)
Cut into cubes: one 8 ounce loaf of very fresh extra firm tofu
After everything is completely prepared, and only then, do you begin to cook.
In a large wok, heat three tablespoons of sesame oil, then add the garlic and ginger, stirring quickly to avoid burning them, so that they flavor the oil. When they are lightly tanned, add the onions and stir until they are soft and translucent. Next add the broccoli, and carrot slices if you are including them. Stir until they are half cooked. Then add everything else, and stir until it is all well coated with oil and the bok choy is wilted. Add one half cup of pure water, put the lid on the wok, and turn the heat down a little, and let the whole thing steam until everything is soft enough to eat. Serve immediately, and let people add their own tamari to taste (and toasted sesame oil if they like).
How to cook brown rice: In a heavy pot, place one cup of dry rice over medium heat. Stir the rice with a wooden spoon until it is slightly toasted. Then add two cups of pure water and allow it to come to a boil. When it boils, turn the heat down very low, put a top on the pot, and let the rice cook until all of the water is absorbed and the rice is fully expanded and easy to chew, about 40 to 50 minutes. It’s OK to peek, but not for long. You want to keep the heat constant. If you use a pot with a glass lid, you don’t have to remove the lid to see how your rice is doing. You can, of course, multiply the recipe as needed.