Do you ever grab an ingredient at the store that is totally off-list but you just know you need it and then you get home think, what am I going to do with this? My husband will tell you that I do this all the time. Well,this dish was born out of that scenario. Luckily for both of us, the results were delicious.
I love bok choy in restaurants, but hadn’t made it at home in ages. Of course, when I googled methods for cooking it, Martha Stewart’s braised bok chop came up, so I knew I was in good hands. And this ginger-sesame version looks delicious too, think I might have to try it next time.
Braising is such a great technique to give you lots of options in the kitchen – I recently did these same steps with fennel, chicken broth, and lemon and it was so good I had to force myself not to eat it strait from the pan. The braised bok choy alone is an awesome side dish. But here’s the thing: after I was done braising them, I looked in the pan and I was like, this seems like the start to a good sauce.
So I made one. The result has become one of our family’s favorite dishes, and I have made it at least five times since. My kids love it and I love that it is gluten free, low fat and loaded with veggies.
I knew asian recipes tend to thicken with cornstarch, so I added some to chicken stock and then added my favorite asian flavors:
I also love how good asian cooks pound their chicken to tenderize it. I just lay it on wax paper and fold it over and pound away. #freetherapy
I started by browning the chicken in the soy, broth and butter that the bok choy was braised in, adding a bit more broth when the heat cooked them down. After the chicken was cooked, I added it to the plate with the bok choy while I made the sauce and boiled the noodles.
First I added the broth, scrapping up the browned bits on the pan, then added the corn starch and whisked for a minute, then add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and lime juice. (I usually measure them out and stir them together while the chicken is browning so I can just pour it in). Stir sauce together until a thick gravy forms, then add the chicken and bok choy back in. I also added the microwaved vegetables (this was a lifesaver since we had just come from the beach and everyone was hungry, and it shaves at least 10 minutes off the dish. You can stir fry them after the chicken if you prefer).
Then I tossed with some rice noodles that I cooked.
The result is such a tangy, salty, stick to the ribs type of meal. With just 1 T. of fats in the whole dish it is super healthy. And I am just a sucker for making a dinner I know the kids will love. Hope you love it too.
Asian Lime Chicken with Braised Bok Choy (printer version here):
3 Heads of baby bok choy, sliced in half if large
1 T. butter
¼ cup chicken stock
3 T. soy sauce
3 chicken breasts, pounded and sliced
2 cups chicken broth (you can use some while cooking chicken if pan gets too hot)
¼ cup soy sauce
2 T. rice wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lime (2 T.)
2 t. sesame oil
3 cups of stir fry vegetables, pre-cooked, such as broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, snap peas.
¾ bag of rice noodles
Set large pot of water on to boil for rice noodles. If vegetables need to be boiled also, set a second pan on to boil (I used steam-in-bag microwave stir fry vegetables).
Melt 1 T. butter in large pan on medium high heat. Add bok choy and cook, turning once, until it just begins to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Remove bok choy and set on a plate. Add stock and soy sauce. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until bok choy is tender about 5 minutes. Remove bok choy from pan and place on a plate.
Add rice noodles to boiling water. Cook vegetables in boiling water or in microwavable until tender. Pound chicken with mallet or heavy object. Slice into 1 inch strips.
Add sliced chicken to pan. Cook until golden, about 5-7 minutes, adding chicken broth or water if pan gets too hot and the liquid starts to evaporate. Remove chicken, place on same plate as bok choy.
To make the sauce, first deglaze the pan with 1 c. chicken stock, then whisk in cornstarch, stirring until lumps are mostly removed, about 1 minute. Combine soy, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, and sesame oil in a bowl, then add mixture to pan and continue to stir until it is a thick brown gravy. Add more broth or cornstarch to achieve desired thickness.
Put chicken, bok choy, vegetables into the pan and stir to coat with sauce. Add rice noodles and stir to combine. Serve immediately.