This is part 2 of my Maangchi special, it’s a vegetable dish, named Cheonggyeongchae doenjang-muchim (translated to bok choy with seasoned soya bean paste). It’s a type of ‘pan chan’ (accompanying small side dishes to rice and the main course served in Korean tradition. Our main course was last weeks post – Prawn Pancakes). According to Maangchi usually in Korea, napa cabbage or sweet potato stems are used instead of bok choy.
Blanching baby bok choy
Bok choy is available widely throughout the world, and here in Singapore, you have a few types, (bok choy, baby bok choy and Shanghai green) can all be used to similar effect. All it involves is a quick blanch of the bok choy and then a seasoned paste is added to the vegetables. The end dish is a harmonious savoury, crispy, juicy medley of doenjang accented flavours.
Squeezing out the water from the baby bok choy
Doenjang is a soya bean paste made from the slow fermentation of soya beans. It resembles Japanese Miso and Dajiang (a type of fermented soya bean paste popular in northeast China). All of these fermented soya bean pastes have similar health benefits and slightly different flavour profiles, I stock both Japanese Miso and Doenjang as I like using both for different dishes. Doenjang has such a distinctive smell and flavour that it’s even been compared to (smelly socks!). You got to try it to see why Doenjang is so unique and well appreciated!
Marinating with garlic, spring onions, doenjang, gochujang (hot pepper paste), raw sugar and sesame oil
Doenjang – Koreans take doenjang as part of their daily diet for it’s preventative qualities, it has been said to be effective in preventing cancer (in fact daily consumption of doenjang is one of the 15 rules for cancer prevention set forth by the Korean Cancer Association), and constipation and diarrhoea by increasing the activity of the large intestines. Doenjang also contains high levels of lecithin found in soya beans that increases brain activity; Saponin that slows oxidation and in turn ageing and linolenic acid that counteracts pigments and freckles formation in the skin.
This was the end result of my Maangchi special meal (part 1 and 2), I hope you had time to try either or both dishes out!
Bok choy with seasoned soya bean paste – Maangchi special (part 2)
Serves 4 (adapted from Maangchi recipe)
200g bok choy (1-2 bags)
1 garlic clove finely minced
1 stalk spring onions finely sliced into rings
1 tablespoon doenjang (fermented soya bean paste)
1 teaspoon gochujang (hot pepper paste) or ½ teaspoon gochucharu (Korean Chilli powder)
A pinch of raw sugar
1 teaspoon roasted sesame oil
½ tablespoon sesame seeds
Wash and cut off the ends of the bok choy. Depending on the bok choy type you are using, you can cut them into bite sized pieces.
Bring a pot of water to boil and cook boy choy till stems soften, this takes 2-3 minutes.
Rinse bok choy in cold water and squeeze out remaining water.
Prepare your mixed seasoning paste and massage over bok choy. Mix well by hand.
Sprinkle a generous amount of sesame seeds and serve immediately. Or refrigerate for up to 2 days.