Friday, July 16, 2010

Korean Chicken Marinade and Grilled Bok Choy

I've been back from vacation for almost a week, and I'm still catching up on things. Like blogging. But I couldn't forget to post this awesome Korean-style marinade and my very favorite bok choy recipe.

We've never been big on marinating until this summer. I have some favorites, but otherwise it's taken a while for me to realize that the easy extra step of marinating can be so worth it. While it's uncertain that a marinade will actually make your meat moist, a soak in some tasty liquid will definitely add flavor to the food's surface and help protect you from carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) that form when meat gets charred on a hot grill.

You may remember the marinated Jerk Chicken that we loved a couple months ago. Mike and I almost didn't try this Korean version from the same Food & Wine article because we just wanted to repeat the jerk marinade. Luckily, we took a trip to the Korean market and loaded up on kimchi and other goodies, so rounding out the meal with this chicken was the only way to go.

As you can see, we used bone-in chicken breasts and leg quarters with the skin removed, but I think it would be as good or better with boneless breasts pounded thin. They cook ultra fast, which helps prevent the meat from drying out, and you'll be able to taste the marinade in every bite.

As for the bok choy, it couldn't be easier. I blanched them, drained them on paper towel and gave them to Mike to put on the grill for a minute or two. I whisked together a sauce from some of the same ingredients in the marinade and drizzled it on. The little char of the grill is so nice and is a lot easier and quicker to do than browning the bok choy in a skillet.

I also have to mention our favorite free-form marinade that Mike invented. It works great on fish and the aforementioned pounded chicken breasts. Just combine about 3/4 cup orange or grapefruit juice, 2 Tbs olive oil, 2 Tbs soy sauce, fresh or dry herbs (especially rosemary and thyme), crushed garlic cloves and black pepper in a large zip top bag. It's enough for up to a pound of meat.

Do you marinate? Does the recent news about the health benefits motivate you, or have you been on the bandwagon for years already? What's your favorite?

Korean-Style Marinade for Chicken

Makes enough for 1 1/4 lbs boneless chicken breast cutlets, pounded thin, or 2 bone-in chicken breasts and 2 leg quarters.

1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbs toasted (dark) sesame oil
1 Tbs honey
1 Tbs white wine vinegar or unseasoned rice vinegar
3 scallions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs (generous) finely chopped fresh ginger
Freshly ground black pepper

Toasted sesame seeds for serving

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, honey and vinegar. Transfer to a large zip top bag and add scallions, garlic, ginger and black pepper. Add chicken and refrigerated 2 to 4 hours for boneless breast or 4 to 6 hours for bone-in pieces. Grill and sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.

Grilled Bok Choy

Serves 4

6 baby bok choy, halved lengthwise
1 Tbs coarse salt
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbs toasted sesame oil
1 Tbs honey
1/2 Tbs white wine vinegar or unseasoned rice vinegar
Toasted sesame seeds for serving

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Add bok choy, cover and return to boiling. Uncover and cook until bok choy may be easily pierced with a knife, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain in a colander, then place on a couple layers of paper towel to absorb additional water.

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, honey and vinegar.

Grill bok choy over moderate heat until light grill marks form, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter, drizzle with soy sauce mixture, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

1 comment:

Nale said...

Fabulous. Thanks for sharing. I will try son.