Oyster Mushroom, Bok Choy, and Fresh Ginger Stir Fry

When you think of locally sourced and fresh ingredients, ginger probably isn’t the first one to come to mind. However, in my part of the country many local farms do grow it and it is just the little bit of spice that you need as the nights get longer and the days get cooler. If you have never had fresh ginger, you are in for a treat. Many times, the store-bought ginger has thick skin and can have tough strings in it. Fresh ginger on the other hand is a delight to prepare and eat. It has such a soft skin that you easily scrape it off with a spoon or honestly just leave it on. There are no strings in the uniformly easy to slice and dice root. Usually for ginger I use the microplane grater, but the fresh ginger is so easy to mince that you don’t really need it. Enjoy the aroma as you breeze through chopping it in about 1 minute.

At a farmers’ market last week, I overheard a conversation about how a local farmer’s bok choy was so good because of the bugs. The recipient of this information was shocked and stated that they didn’t want to eat bugs! The bok choy lover went further to explain it was the fact that there are insects in the soil and not in the plant itself. He was trying to say that there weren’t a ton of chemicals and pesticides used to grow the bok choy, but quality earth was used instead. This farmer makes some of the sweetest carrots and bok choy that I have ever tasted. Try to remember that organic and pesticide free crops may have a nibble out of them and be thankful as that means they have living things and not the death caused by strong chemicals. Natural just tastes better.

This week’s recipe is full of seasonal vegetables. I shopped at my farmers market on Saturday and brought home such a rich assortment of goodies that I couldn’t wait to play with them. I found a recipe on allplants.com, and modified it to suit my needs. I wanted a crisper mushroom than they had and so I dried-fried them first. If you want softer mushrooms, simply add them after the garlic.

Leeks are also in season and seemed like the perfect choice for this recipe. You can use green onions if that is what you have. Before you point it out, I know that limes are not in season here, but I was working with most of my main ingredients being local.

Of course, I used some delicious Italian Oyster mushrooms. They have a nice medium texture that crisps up well. I used half a pound for the recipe and it was just right. Not too much and not too little.

I bought my udon noodles in the refrigerator section of my local Asian grocery store. I did simmer the noodles in a little water before adding them to the mushrooms. You can also add them to the pan with a little water and let it simmer until they loosen if you don’t want to get another pan dirty. I just wanted my mushrooms to stay crisp! You can use ones that you need to cook and they will also work well.

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