Edible Shasta Butte

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  • HOME
    • LOCAL EATS IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA’S CENTRAL VALLEY

    • LOCAL LIBATIONS INCLUDING BEER, WINE, MILK & COFFEE

    • FOOD FOR THOUGHT

    • GARDENING. EVENTS. TRAVEL. SHOPPING. MEET YOUR MAKERS.

    • FIND STORIES ABOUT LOCAL FOOD, FARMS, CHEFS, ARTISANS AND MORE IN OUR PAST ISSUE ARCHIVE.

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Grilled (or Pan-Fried) Greens

The Chinese have a traditional preparation for nearly all types of greens. Ging chao (translates to “clear stir-fry”) means using only a little oil, a dash of salt/ soy, and maybe a finish of sugar, depending on the bitterness of the chosen greens The preparation is meant to highlight the sweetness of the veggies, softening them just slightly and caramelizing the edges.

Grilled (or Pan-Fried) Greens

The Chinese have a traditional preparation for nearly all types of greens. Ging chao (translates to “clear stir-fry”) means using only a little oil, a dash of salt/ soy, and maybe a finish of sugar, depending on the bitterness of the chosen greens The preparation is meant to highlight the sweetness of the veggies, softening them just slightly and caramelizing the edges.
Chinese preparation of veggies often focuses on the wok and temperatures near 600°. This is unrealistic for many home cooks, which is why I resort to open flame cooking via the charcoal grill. That said, cooking inside a screaming hot cast-iron skillet can work, but just make sure to be judicious with the oil, i.e., not too much, and have your hood vent on high.
For this recipe, you are going to wilt and caramelize the greens over hot coals and then finish/season in a bowl.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: asian
Keyword: asian, barbecue, bbq, greens, grill
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Stephen David Caldes

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch seasonal Asian greens*
  • 1 tablespoon neutral high-smoke point oil (like grapeseed or sunflower)
  • 1 garlic clove finely grated/microplaned
  • 1 tablespoon ponzu or equal parts soy sauce and lime juice works
  • 1 tablespoon Hot Pepper Vinegar or about 2 teaspoons sugar

Instructions

  • Wash the greens twice to remove all grit and leave them as large as possible so they don’t fall through the grate.
  • Heat up your grill. The hotter the better, but a grill grate temperature north of 500° is best.
  • While coals are heating, lightly toss greens in oil.
  • Once the greens are on the grill, I keep turning and tossing and flipping for the entire cook time. I’m not looking for grill marks per se, but just an all-around browning. Usually the leaves are caramelized and starting to crisp and the stalks are bright and tender at around the five-minute mark. Once greens are lightly charred to perfection, remove and chop into bite-size pieces. Toss with grated garlic, ponzu, and hot pepper vinegar (or sugar). Serve piping hot.

Notes

This is a great side to make while your grilled protein is resting. Every time I heat up charcoal I’m looking to use it for at least two or three items.
*This recipe works with just about any Asian greens, basically, all the cabbages, which are available seasonally at the farmers market. Look for:
Water spinach (also called river spinach)
Bok choy (regular, baby and flowering)
Tatsoi (also called tat soy or rosette bok choy)
Choy sum
Yua choy
Gai choy
I also use this preparation for my heartier winter veggies like gai lan and broccoli raab, though I double the cook time (approximately 10 minutes over the flame).
Fun fact: what we call broccolini is actually a hybrid of gai lan and traditional broccoli.