I don’t know about you, but I get stuck in food ruts. I’ll make salad after salad. Then, I’ll roast a pan of broccoli twice in one week. Next, I’ll get stuck on green beans for awhile. I spied baby bok choy at the grocery store a few weeks ago and knew I had to use it for an Asian-inspired side dish. And Baby Bok Choy with Ginger Brown Butter was born!
Bok choy is part of the Chinese cabbage family. To me, it’s like getting two vegetables in one. The bottom part has white and light green stalks that have a similar crunch to celery. The flavor is mild. The top is leafy and resembles romaine lettuce, although the taste is closer to mustard greens (but slightly less spicy).
There are several ways to cook bok choy. You could roast it, stir fry it, or drop it into boiling water (the last option is good for adding to pasta). Since I was making Grilled Salmon Kabobs with Asian Barbecue Glaze, I chose to grill it. As the stalks get tender, the leaves get dark brown. If you’ve ever had kale chips, the leaves come out similarly crispy to roasted kale.
To prepare it, I first halved the bok choy lengthwise. Then I brushed it with butter and sprinkled it with salt and pepper. It just takes 6–8 minutes on the grill total before it’s done.
To jazz it up a bit, I made a ginger brown butter. Actually, first I burned a ginger brown butter (see below on the left). Then I did it right the second time (see below on the right).
It manages to happen every time. I’ll walk away from the stove, come back, and the butter is burned. In my case, I walked away for a few minutes, which I don’t recommend!
To make brown butter, you simply heat butter, swirling it occasionally, until the milk solids are toasted. You’re looking for light brown colored specks on the bottom of the pan. As soon as they turn light brown, take the pan off the heat. The butter will continue to cook slightly as it cools, and you’ll have the most magnificent nutty-smelling butter.
I grated a little ginger and added it to the brown butter after cooking. The smell of ginger and brown butter together is heavenly. It’s such a tasty addition to grilled bok choy.
I served the Baby Bok Choy with Ginger Brown Butter with Grilled Salmon Kabobs with Asian Barbecue Sauce. On the side, I made a Sesame Scallion Rice (recipe below), which is such an easy way to perk up rice. It’s just toasted sesame oil and chopped scallions, and it’s so full of flavor. Both sides are the perfect complement to the kabobs!
Do you get stuck in any food ruts? What are they?
Grilled Bok Choy with Ginger Brown Butter
- 2 bunches baby bok choy
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Preheat grill to medium high heat.
- Slice bok choy in half lengthwise.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the microwave. Brush both sides of the bok choy with the melted butter. Season with salt and pepper.
- Grill the bok choy, cut side down, for 3–4 minutes, or until charred in spots. Flip and cook for another 2–3 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the grill and place on a serving platter.
- Meanwhile, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Continue to cook, picking the pan up to swirl occasionally, or until the butter is light brown and smells toasted, about 4–5 minutes. If the butter turns dark brown or black, it is overcooked and you’ll need to start again, so watch closely!
- Remove from the heat. Stir in the grated ginger and season with a pinch of salt.
- Pour the ginger brown butter over the bok choy and serve immediately.
Sesame Scallion Rice
- 1½ cups jasmine rice or another long-grain white rice2 teaspoons sesame oil4 scallions sliced thinly1 teaspoon kosher salt
- In a saucepan over high heat, combine rice with 3 cups of water and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered for 5 minutes.Remove the lid and fluff rice with a fork. Stir in the sesame oil and sliced scallions. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with sesame seeds.