I knew a guy once who hated the music of John Mayer. He’d get really worked up about it. At the time that I knew him, Your Body is a Wonderland was popular and getting loads of air play. It was inescapable. When the song would inevitably start playing, this guy would launch into a diatribe about John Mayer and how much he loathed him. That he held so much anger for John Mayer was always really amusing to me because it’s like holding animosity for celery. It’s bland enough to be forgettable but hardly anything worth getting worked up over. (Even to this day, whenever David and I hear John Mayer on the radio, we have to have a faux tantrum or at least mutter a few expletives about John Mayer in jest.)
That said, like the perfectly pleasant John Mayer, there are plenty of things that other people deem bland that I really enjoy – like tofu, rice, and bok choy. Oh, that reminds me I have a recipe to share! As I mentioned on my cast iron grill post, this one can be made on your indoor grill pan or on a traditional outdoor grill.
I’ll admit that on its own tofu doesn’t have much flavor, but with the right marinade or grill pan, it soaks up all kinds of flavor like a sponge. I discovered a few months ago that bok choy is that way too! Bok choy is a vegetable that I never minded in dishes but was hardly noteworthy. The leaves have a bit of a collard green meets arugula-thing going on, but the stalks themselves are practically devoid of flavor. They’re more like water in a fibrous packaging.
My feelings about bok choy changed, though, when I heard about grilling it. When baby bok choy is sliced down the middle, lightly oiled and salted, and then laid face down on the grill, it picks up all of that grilled flavor. With nothing else to dampen the taste, it takes on a lovely smokiness all its own. Suddenly, bok choy was something I needed in my grocery basket.
This Grilled Tofu Satay & Bok Choy with Creamy Peanut Sauce takes those three maligned “bland” foods and makes them a bowl of saucy, smoky deliciousness.
It’s all brought together with a healthy ladling of creamy peanut sauce made with light coconut milk. This smooth, lightly sweet sauce is so delicious, it’s practically drinkable. (I held back on my sauce portion for the purposes of the photos, but trust me, I was much more generous with my pouring when it was time to eat!) The velvety sauce along with the salty, smoky tofu and bok choy all come together and combine in a choir of “mmm….”
Add a few dashes of Sriracha, a squeeze of lime, and a sprinkling of cilantro for a quick lunch or dinner that is far from bland. No tantrums necessary.