​​​​​​​Soy-Braised Swiss Chard with Shallot-Marinated Beets

Time 40 minutes
Yields Serves 8 to 12 as one of many dishes
​​​​​​​Soy-Braised Swiss Chard with Shallot-Marinated Beets
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Put the beets in a medium saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Generously salt the water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Simmer until a paring knife pierces a beet easily, about 25 minutes. Drain well.


When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel them, then cut into ½-inch wedges. Stir the vinegar and sliced shallot in a medium bowl and add the beets. Fold until evenly coated, then cover and marinate for a few hours at room temperature or refrigerate for up to 2 days.


Cut the thick chard stems apart from the leaves, then slice into 1-inch pieces. Grab the stack of leaves and tear them in half crosswise.


Put the fennel seeds, cinnamon stick, and star anise in a tea strainer or wrap in cheesecloth and tie shut.


Heat the oil in a wok or saucepot over high heat. When it’s so hot it shimmers, add the diced shallot and cook, stirring, until the sizzling edges brown, about 30 seconds. Add the chard stems and leaves and turn with chopsticks or tongs until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce, rice wine, and ¾ cup water. Stir to mix well, then sprinkle with sugar and stir again. When the liquid comes to a boil, nestle the bundled spices in.


Reduce the heat to low to maintain a gentle simmer and cover. Simmer until the stems and leaves are very tender, about 20 minutes.


Remove the tea strainer and discard the spices. Transfer the vegetables to a serving dish with a slotted spoon. If there’s a lot of liquid left in the wok, raise the heat and boil the liquid until it’s reduced to ¼ cup. Drizzle all over the vegetables. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Make Ahead: The beets and chard can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring back to room temperature before serving.

Genevieve Ko is the cooking editor for the Los Angeles Times. She is a cookbook author and has been a food writer, editor and recipe developer for national food media outlets. Ko graduated from Yale after a childhood in Monterey Park.
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