Wednesday, July 20, 2011

On the Tender Charms of Grilled Baby Bok Choy

If I find baby bok choy the sexiest of the Chinese cabbages, does that make me a pervert? (A vegevert, perhaps?)

How about a vegbian?
Who will think of the children?

Come on, you can't tell me that out of baby bok choy or napa cabbage, you don't think baby bok choy is better-looking. And, it's delicious. Baby bok choy is simply harvested earlier than the traditional dark green and white bok choy. Baby bok choy is to bok choy as Brussels sprouts are to cabbage.

So let's say, similarly enamored with the delicate charms of baby bok, you sliced your heads lengthwise and dressed them in salt, pepper, olive oil and garlic. Indeed, this combination of seasoning appears to be delicious on everything grilled.

Grill face up, then face down until nice char marks appear. I have little luck with specific time and temperature recommendations for grilled goods; there are just too many variables. I went with medium direct heat while I was grilling other items and this probably took me 10 minutes tops. Test with a fork or a knive in the base; we're going for crisp-tender here, not mushy.

Though the burnt leaves make for a dramatic presentation, I might suggest you slice the top third off before you grill. Serve these little leaves sauteed with more garlic with this dish or save for a stir fry later.

You know I am a fan of all things with vinegar. Naturally, these little bites are delicious with balsamic, sherry, red wine or white vinegar. Rice wine vinegar, would be perfect too. But where bok choy really shines is with a splash of soy sauce. Something about the sweetness from the caramelized bits and the garlic that gets down in the leaves makes this taste like a succulent little edible dish of teriyaki.

And its all perfectly natural.

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