Like most recipes that start off as Blue Apron meals, when this one showed promise as a keeper I made some modifications to it to suit my family's tastes and the ingredients that I can find in my local grocery stores (with perhaps one exception, but I'll get to that).
This recipe was the first time I had cooked baby bok choy at home, and it's quickly become one of my favorite vegetables for pan satueeing. It's not bitter, has a wonderful texture (not stringy!), and looks pretty.
Korean rice cakes may be something you haven't seen before in your grocery store. The closest store that carries them in my area is an hour away, but fortunately a local friend had picked some up last time she was there and graciously gave me a bag. I've also seen them on Amazon. If you don't have them, the best substitute I can think of is to serve the dish over a bed of rice.
The addition of creme fraiche (or the substitute) may seem a little weird in this dish, but it does a great job of bringing the sauce together. It's a technique that I see Blue Apron use a lot, and it works. It really elevates the dish to another level. The sauce clings to the meat and vegetables and gives it a smoothness on your tongue it won't otherwise have.
What you'll need
1 lb ground pork
1 package rice cakes (~13-14 ounces)
2 bok choy heads, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp Creme Fraiche (can substitute 1:1 sour cream:cream cheese, or leave out)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch fresh ginger minced, or substitute ground ginger or 5 spice seasoning to taste
1 Tbsp soy glaze or 2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp gochujang (or 2-3 Tbsp "asian garlic chili sauce" or sirracha) to taste
*1/4 cup savory black bean-chile sauce
Sesame seeds and/or chives for garnish
*If you don't have this sauce, I've used hoisin sauce instead and it works very well! The dish ends up sweeter and it's not hte same flavor profile, but it still works! The hoisin/chili/soy sauce is a combination my family loves and I'm quick to substitute it as needed in recipes.
Git 'er Done
Boil salted water (like you would do for pasta) for the rice cakes. When it's at a roiling boil, add the cakes and cook until tender, drain well.
Combine glaze with 1/2 c. water (or soy sauce and 1/4 c. water), black bean sauce (or hoisin), and chili sauce in a small bowl.
Cook the pork in a skillet until browned and cooked through.
Add the white parts (stems) of the bok choy stems, garlic, and ginger. Cook until bok choy is slightly soft.
Check your water. Is it boiling yet? Add your rice cakes to boiling water, cook 2-3 minutes until tender.
Add sauce and green parts of bok choy to the skillet. Turn the heat down and stir to combine and heat through. Taste and adjust the sauce to taste.
Add the cooked rice cakes to the pan and stir to combine. Remove from heat. Add the creme fraiche (or substitute) and stir until blended.
Garnish with sesame seeds and/or chives.
You do NOT want to overcook the rice cakes or let them sit there congealing as the rest of your dish is cooking. For me, starting the water boiling as I'm washing and chopping bok choy, and have the pork browning in the skillet is about right.