Archive for the 'Tokyo Bekana' Category

About Tokyo Bekana

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Not your everyday lettuce, these lesser-known greens are an oriental brassica celebrated for their quick germination and growth in cold temperatures. They are the Japanese version of the Small Chinese Cabbage and are often harvested young as micro greens. In appearance they somewhat resemble lettuce with bright green frilly leaves and pale stems, but their taste is more akin to spinach, though perhaps slightly more bitter. Outside of Asia, this green is typically used for salad leaves. But, similar to Pak Choi or Bok Choy, it can also be stir-fried for a tasty, wilted green, or added to soups!

Risotto with Greens

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Philippe, Tucson CSA

Any leafy greens would do well in this recipe, with slight flavor differences with each. Some people stir-fry or boil the greens separately. I like to add them directly to the rice to preserve their full flavor.

1 bunch (or bag) greens, chopped
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup dry mushrooms
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock, heated
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
salt (or dried chile flakes) and pepper to taste

Serves 2.

Place dried mushroom in a bowl, cover them with 1 cup of boiling water and soak for 5 minutes. Drain and reserve the drained water.

In a skillet, heat oil to medium hot and sauté mushrooms and onions until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add rice and stir. When rice is hot, adding 1/4 cup reserved mushroom water. Add thyme and garlic. Stir gently and continuously until liquid is almost absorbed.
Repeat the process, 1/4 cup at a time, with the rest of the mushroom water and heated stock, stirring the rice continuously.  The rice should be kept to a mild simmer throughout this process which will take about 20 minutes.  Add more stock if necessary. Never let the rice dry entirely, nor make it swim in stock.
When rice is almost cooked (it should still be al dente), add the greens and fold them into the rice.  Add a little more stock if the mixture becomes too dry. Continue to stir until the greens are cooked (another 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the greens).  At that point, the rice should be soft and ready.
Add grated Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.

Kimchi (Pickled Cabbage)

Thursday, March 25th, 2010
Jan Dowling, Tucson CSA
Makes 1 gallon

3 medium (approximately 9 lbs.) Napa cabbages (You can substitute with Tokyo Bekana, Cabbage, or other thick leaved greens)
1/2 cup salt
2 medium white radishes, peeled and shredded
1/3 cup red pepper powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cloves garlic, finely crushed
2 teaspoons ginger root, finely crushed
5 green onions, sliced

Cut the cabbage into 1 1/2″ squares. Place the cabbage in a large container and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for 2 or 3 hours or until the cabbage becomes soft. Rinse the pickled cabbage with water once and drain. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Place the cabbage in a gallon-sized glass jar (plastic containers will stain and retain the odor) and leave in a cool place for 3 or 4 days until it tastes a little sour (ferments). When it is ready to eat, store it in the refrigerator (which will stop the fermentation).
Sauerkraut instructions..similar to kimchi but fermentation longer
Pack the salted cabbage firmly and evenly into a large clean crock or jar. Using a wooden spoon or tamper or the hands, press down firmly until the juice comes to the surface. Repeat the shredding, salting, and packing of the cabbage until the crock is filled to within 3 to 4 inches of the top.
Cover the cabbage with a clean, thin, white cloth (such as muslin) and tuck the edges down against the inside of the container. Cover with a plate or round paraffined/waxed board that just fits inside the container so that the cabbage is not exposed to the air. Put a weight on top of the cover so the brine comes to the cover but not over it. A glass jar filled with water makes a good weight.
An alternative method of covering cabbage during fermentation consists of placing a plastic bag filled with water on top of the fermenting cabbage. The water-filled bag seals the surface from exposure to air and prevents the growth of film yeast or molds. It also serves as a weight. For extra protection the bag with the water in it can be placed inside another plastic bag.
Any bag used should be of heavyweight, watertight plastic and intended for use with foods.
The amount of water in the plastic bag can be adjusted to give just enough pressure to keep the fermenting cabbage covered with brine.
Formation of gas bubbles indicates fermentation is taking place. A room temperature of 68 to 72 degrees is best for fermenting cabbage. Fermentation is usually completed in 5 to 6 weeks.

Asian-Style Greens with Sesame, Ginger and Soy Sauce

Monday, March 9th, 2009

Contributed by William Masson, Tucson CSA
Recipe courtesy Peter Berley’s The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen

4 tablespoons light sesame oil or olive oil
2 tablespoons white hulled sesame seeds
4 teaspoons peeled, minced gingerroot
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds tender Asian greens (works great with Tokyo Bekana)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 teaspoons rice vinegar

1. In a wide heavy saute pan or wok over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the sesame seeds and stir until they pop and become fragrant. Add the ginger and garlic and saute for 1 more minute.
2. Add the greens and 1 tablespoon soy sauce, raise the heat and cook, covered, for 1 minute. Uncover and saute for 1 or 2 minutes more, until the greens are tender but still bright green.
3. Stir in more soy sauce and vinegar to taste, and serve immediately.

Tokyo Bekana Slaw

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

Sara Jones, Tucson CSA

Serve this finely cut slaw alone or over cooked rice
noodles. You could also use it as a filling for spring rolls,

wrapped up with lettuce in rice paper wrappers.
1/2 head Tokyo Bekana, shredded 1/2 bunch radishes, shredded
1/2 bunch carrots, shredded
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce

Toss together vegetables. Mix liquid ingredients in
separate bowl, then pour over vegetables. Toss, then let
marinate in refrigerator for at least one hour before

Winter Greens Lasagna or Pasta

Monday, July 24th, 2006

(what to do with the wilting winter greens) (Laura)

Saute garlic and pine nuts in olive oil, add greens and lightly saute with lid on pan to conserve heat and steam.
I added some white wine, which made them really tasty.

Saute your greens in some olive oil and garlic until wilted.

In a separate pan, make a bechamel cheese sauce (Joy of Cooking has an easy and basic recipe).  Basically, you melt a quarter stick of butter in a pan, add a tablespoon of flour and a cup of milk (slowly) while stirring. Add a small, clove-studded
onion (or an onion plus a bit of ground cloves). Simmer while stirring for 5-10 minutes.  Then you add cheese until you like the consistency. I used a little ricotta, goat cheese, and parmesan.  You can use olive oil rather than butter.

For the lasagna, toss the sauce and the sauteed greens together and layer between dry lasagna noodles and put in the oven. My lasagna was an utter failure because I tried to boil the noodles first. In case of failure, try…

Winter green pasta!
Toss the greens with your favorite pasta noodle and pour sauce over them.

The mustard greens are SUPER tasty with the cheese sauce. Trader Joe’s has really cheap fancy cheeses – especially the goat ones.

Scalloped Potatoes and Greens

Monday, July 24th, 2006

By Philippe, Tucson CSA

4 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 bunch scallions (or I’Itoi onions), sliced
1 bunch greens (any greens), sliced in ribbons
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1 dash nutmeg
1 teaspoon dry mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 350˚. Lightly grease an 11 x 7-inch baking dish.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add scallions and sauté for one minute. Stir in flour until smooth.

Add milk and stir until thick and bubbly. Add salt, pepper, mustard and nutmeg. Stir in greens. Pour mixture over potatoes and mix well, but gently. Pour the potato mixture into baking dish. Cover with foil.

Bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15-20
minutes, or until potatoes are tender.