What’s Cooking in Kelli’s Kitchen -- Bok Choy

  • 2022-08-21, 09:25 PM
  • Kelli Kelly
What’s Cooking in Kelli’s Kitchen -- Bok Choy

I spend a remarkable amount of time talking about produce. Between the Food Hub’s subscription box program, talking to farmers about their harvest plans and what they are planting, and doing food distribution, produce talk takes up about a third of all the words that I use in a week.

 

Did you know that there is a variety of beets that have been selectively bred to be delicious when eaten raw?  They are called Badger Flame Beets and we are working with a local farmer to grow them over the winter and in future seasons. Did you know that brussels sprouts are having a moment?  We sold an average of 60 pounds of brussels sprouts each week when they were in season last January. Now we are working with a farmer to grow them here in Fallon, so we don’t have to bring them in from the other side of the Sierras. With the Food Hub, we try to create markets for different kinds of produce then cultivate farmers to grow that produce here for our local community–when the produce comes from our local farms and is eaten by our community members, the world is a better place.

 

Sometimes, creating markets for produce means teaching people how to use veggies that they have never eaten before. Trying new things can be a little scary. We try to demystify unfamiliar ingredients and to encourage people to give it a try. I am a veggie cheerleader.

 

This week, the vegetable that was the most unfamiliar both at the William N. Pennington Life Center and at the Fallon Paiute Shoshone Senior Center was baby Bok choy. Since Bok choy grows quite well in Fallon, I am going to share some helpful hints about this delicious Asian green.

 

First off, Bok choy is a member of the brassica family–that means that it is related to cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. The brassicas are a pretty diverse group, including a fairly wide cohort of cousins that may appear to have very little in common with each other–think Brussels sprouts versus beets. Bok choy is most closely related to broccoli raab, turnips, and napa cabbage. Bok choy can be harvested both fully grown and when it is immature. Baby Bok choy is typically 3 to 6 inches long with bright white stems and leaves that range from light to bright green.

 

Baby bok choy can be prepared in a variety of ways including chopped into pieces (like you would use a mature head), separated into individual leaves, cut in half, or cooked whole. It is a sweet and delicious green that pairs perfectly with garlic and lemon. In fact, there are a myriad of simple ways to cook Bok choy, each of them yielding a tasty and nutritious result. Here is my go-to cooking method and a more involved recipe.

 

Kelli’s favorite way to cook Bok choy and other hearty greens:

In a pan or wok heat a bit of oil over medium-high heat, add sliced garlic and let sizzle for a minute or so then add your baby Bok choy (whole, halved, or chopped). Cook for 3-7 minutes until the thicker stems have softened and the leafy parts are wilted. Sprinkle with a good coarse salt and a squeeze of lemon.

 

Grilled Bok Choy with Sweet Soy Glaze

 

Ingredients:

 

1/2 c soy sauce

1 c sake

1 c sugar

1-inch knob ginger, roughly sliced

2 garlic cloves, roughly sliced

2 green onions, roughly chopped

2 #s baby Bok choy, rinsed, dried, and split in half lengthwise

2 T olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Directions:

 

  1. Combine the soy sauce, sake, sugar, ginger, garlic, and scallions in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce to a bare simmer and cook until sauce is syrupy and reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 20 minutes. Strain and discard solids. Reserve sauce.

 

  1. Prepare and light your grill (charcoal, propane, or smoker). Allow your bbq to preheat for about 5 minutes then clean and oil the grilling grate.

 

  1. Toss Bok choy with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on hot side of grill, cut side down and cook until lightly charred, about 45 seconds. Flip and cook until second side is charred, 45 seconds longer. Transfer to cooler side of grill, cover, and continue cooking until tender all the way through with a light crisp bite, 1 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a large plate, drizzle with sauce, and serve.

 

 

 

 

Kelli Kelly

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