Have you ever cooked with bok choy? Yeah, we hadn’t either before this week. We’re not even entirely sure if we’ve ever even eaten bok choy, much less cooked with it. Do you even know what it is? When Will told me we’d be making a couple meals with bok choy this week, I envisioned something akin to soy sauce in a bottle-definitely not a green fresh veggie. Our first bok choy meal came after going to yin yoga together-we came home and I went upstairs to practice clarinet and Will stayed in the kitchen to prep dinner. When I came down, you can imagine my surprise when Will showed me the colander full of chopped, rinsed bok choy. Somehow I even missed the memo about what it was while we were at the grocery store! So after he prepped everything and put me in charge, I had to come to terms with this new green thing in my life.
Luckily, it wasn’t such a hard thing to do. Bok choy certainly isn’t an unreasonable veggie and doesn’t have any sort of gross flavor. It definitely didn’t present any challenges cooking it-it was just kind of there, adding some green to our meal. The real flavor profile of this meal came from the lime and ginger; now that is a flavor combination worth making! After allowing our free range chicken breast to marinate for a little bit, soaking up all those limey-gingery flavors, it ended up being a powerful meal without going overboard. With a bit of Asian flair, this meal doesn’t overdo anything, but certainly would never be considered bland. So give bok choy a shot if you never have and try this recipe! Despite looking long and complicated, the long and the short of the cooking instructions are just that you have to take turns cooking ingredients, but eventually it all just gets thrown together in the same pan. I think the only downside of this meal was that this recipe only serves two, meaning we only ate it one night! Twas a tragedy!
Cooking Notes: Instead of using a fresh lime, we used our always-on-hand lime juice in a bottle. The original recipe calls for chicken thighs, however we just stuck with our normal chicken breasts.
Brown Rice Bowl with Ginger-Lime Chicken and Bok Choy (adapted from Buzzfeed; serves 2)
1/2 cup brown rice
3 tbsp lime juice
5 tbsp olive oil
2 small (or 1 large) skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
2 heads baby bok choy
4 scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp grated ginger (about 1/2-inch piece)
Prepare the rice according to package directions (or bring 1 cup water, rice and 1/2 tsp salt to a boil). Stir once, then lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the water is absorbed and rice is al dente, about 50 minutes.
In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the lime juice and 3 tbsp olive oil with a tidbit of salt. Add the chicken, seal the bag, then massage the bag to coat the chicken. Refrigerate, massaging the bag halfway through-about 20 minutes. In the meantime, lay the bok choy on a work surface. Thinly slice it crosswise 1/2-inch thick-you should end up with about 3 cups. Rinse and drain. (If you’re not sure how to cut it, Buzzfeed has really great pictures of that process).
Once it’s done marinating, use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken from the bag, shaking the spoon and letting the excess marinade drip back in the bag. Reserve the marinade. In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the chicken, season with salt, and cook stirring occasionally until golden-brown, about 7-9 minutes. Make sure you cook the chicken only until it’s “just firm” and not overdone. Transfer chicken to a plate to drain.
Set aside a generous pinch of scallion greens for a final topping, then add the remaining scallions, the garlic, and ginger to the skillet and cook, stirring over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Pour the marinade into the skillet and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Increase the heat to medium, then add the bok choy, season with salt, and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan and heat through.
Divide the rice among 2 bowls, then spoon the chicken mixture on top. Sprinkle with reserved scallions and serve!