In yesterday's update I shared my excitement about the baby bok choy I happened upon. I was so excited about trying it that I actually opted out of going to brunch at my favorite vegetarian cafe and coffee shop. I suppose it helped that Jeff did bring me coffee on his way back from dropping stuff off at the new place, and we will likely hit them up tomorrow and Sunday. What can I say? I love them.
I had my heart set on grilling the bok choy rather than mudding up its natural flavors in a stir fry. I had no idea what to do until I stumbled upon an orange sesame grilled bok choy from Phoo-d. It sounded like something both Jeff and I would like as well as something that would allow the bok choy to retain its Asian origins (is that where it actually originated, or is it just used in Asian cuisine?). Now, bok choy on its own wasn't going to work for me. I needed something "hearty" to go with it. We generally aren't meat eaters at this stage in our lives so thankfully I stumbled upon a Korean BBQ marinade that was designed to be used on either ribs or tofu. I'm not a fan of many fake meat products and have found that hearts of palm can sometimes be used as an excellent substitute if your recipe needs the shredded quality of a pulled pork or taco filling. The Kitchn's recipe from Emily Han was not designed for this, but I had high hopes.
We followed the bok choy recipe exactly as it was other than swapping out the sesame oil for EVOO and some toasted sesame seeds because we ran out of sesame oil. We did make minor changes to the BBQ recipe though. Because we have a plethora of green garlic, we used it rather than buying bulk garlic. We also used grated apple instead of pear juice. We had apples on had, and a few commenters said they actually preferred grated apple. So why spend the extra money?
- 1 14 oz can of hearts of palm (whole, not pre-cut)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce *see last paragraph*
- 1/4 cup freshly grated apple
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 cloves green garlic, chopped finely
- 1-2 scallions, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (we toasted them on the stove top for 3 to 5 minutes)
- Dash of black pepper
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
- Peel off the outer layer of the hearts of palm, shred it up (will do this easily), and toss in the marinade. You don't need to let it set long as the hearts of palm soaks up the flavor easily.
- Once you are ready (we needed to make sure the grill and bok choy were good to go), toss it in a pan to heat up, caramelize, and let some of extra juices cook out.
- Toss onto the grilled bok choy*
It turned out well (it looks disgusting, but my good camera is packed away, and barbecue, even with real meat, doesn't make for a sexy photo anyway). However, in retrospect, we really needed to add some rice or cut back on the soy. The soy from the marinade plus the soy from the bok choy baste offered quite a high salt content. We will likely do this again sometime, but we will either add a bit of rice to soak up the extra liquid or simply cut back on the soy. Overall, we deemed it a success since most recipes need some fine tuning, and this was our first time using bok choy.
Do you like bok choy? If so, let me know if you have any go-to recipes!