Quick, delicious, healthful!
Our farm stand had some lovely new baby pak choi (bok choy, Chinese cabbage) this week, and I knew I had to build a meal around it. It is extremely nutritious, delicious, and easy to grow, especially in cold climates. A great source of fiber, antioxidants, Vitamins C and K, zinc, and folic acid, this humble vegetable can be eaten raw, stir-fried, added to soups and stews, casseroles, egg dishes, and just about anything else your imagination can dream up. We love it grilled.
Speak to me!
We also found some really large wild Gulf shrimp that was calling our names, so dinner was all set. It’s spring, and we were lucky enough to duck out between rain drops to cook this meal, grateful that it only takes literally a few minutes cook time. Good thing, it started pouring as soon as it was done!
Simple, but tasty
The shrimp was delightful with lime, but you could also use lemon in its place. The ginger and garlic are essential, as is the honey which balances out the sour and aids in quick browning so the shrimps do not overcook. The rest with salt and baking soda keep the shrimp nice and tender.
Use what is in season in your area
The pak choi was perfect with the shrimp, but if you can’t find any, just substitute whatever vegetable you love that is in season. Zucchini, summer squash, potatoes, asparagus, and so many more would be delightful served up with the shrimp. We also had a bit of brown rice left over from another meal.
If you only have a few minutes to make dinner, this is the dish for you! But be quick, I think I see another storm cloud…
Grilled Shrimp with Ginger, Lime, and Garlic and Sesame Pak Choi
- 1 lb. jumbo wild shrimp
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda disolved in 1 tsp. water
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1” knob of ginger finely minced
- Zest of one lime
- 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
- A pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. native honey
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 heads baby pak choi (bok choy)
- Olive oil
- Toasted sesame oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sweet or hot pepper rings to garnish
If cooking outside on a grill, get your charcoal going. You can also make this under the broiler in the house, even faster, but you won’t have the smoky flavor.
Peel and devein the shrimp. Save the shells if you’d like to make a flavorful broth to use elsewhere or freeze. Pat dry, and season with salt, a few grinds of pepper, and the baking soda slurry. Set in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Combine the garlic, ginger, zest, lime juice, red pepper, honey, and olive oil, and whisk well. I use my mini food processor to put these ingredients together quickly, but if you don’t have one, just finely mince everything. Pour over the prepared shrimp and let marinate for a few minutes longer while the shrimps come to room temperature.
While the shrimp are marinating, check on the charcoal and prepare the pak choi. Slice in half lengthwise, spray with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Set these aside as well.
Once your coals are ready, dinner is almost there! Push the coals to one side, and make sure the grates are well cleaned and oiled. Add your shrimp and pak choi. As soon as there is color on the shrimp turn them and cook another minute. Remove to a plate. The same with the pak choi, it cooks really quickly as well.
Plate and drizzle the pak choi with a little toasted sesame oil, and dinner is ready. Now wasn’t that fun?
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