Quick and Easy Miso-Glazed Bok Choy
WHAT DOES BOK CHOY TASTE LIKE?
Bok choy, also known as pak choi (pok choi), is a staple in Chinese cuisine that has become prevalent in local grocery stores and farmers’ markets across the U.S. This leafy green vegetable, which belongs to the mustard family along with kale, broccoli, and cabbage, has a crunchy stem akin to the texture of celery. and soft, dark green leaves. These grassy-tasting leaves are usually cooked quickly over medium heat as they wilt due to their thin texture. The stalks become tender and crunchy when cooked in hot oil for a few minutes on each side.
HOW TO PREPARE BOK CHOY
Bok choy has dirt within its bundle of stalks, so it’s important to wash it well by cutting off the thick base and separating each stalk. With baby bok choy, since we grill the halves be sure to keep the end of the bulb intact (it will soften with cooking) and run the entire bundle under running water as best as you can. For cooking, it’s best to grill or sear the bok choy over medium-high heat as boiling and steaming will produce a wet and limp vegetable.
Cut the baby bok choy in half lengthwise and wait for the pan and oil to heat up before placing them cut side down on a metal or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Sear each side for a few minutes and then brush the bok choy with the miso glaze last to avoid the maple syrup burning on your hot pan.
Store your bok choy in the crisper section of your refrigerator for up to seven days and be sure not to wash it right before cooking because it will spoil faster. Discard any wilted leaves that develop brown spots.
WHAT IS MISO AND WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?
Originated in Japan, miso is a fermented soybean paste that comes in a variety of flavors — sweet, salty, earthy – and also adds a savory flavor that is now identified as umami, our fifth taste sensation. Miso is commonly fermented with koji – rice that has been inoculated with a fungus – and salt.
In this recipe I recommend using white or yellow miso. You can also use chickpea or dark miso but be aware that it’s much saltier so you will need to reduce the quantity to taste. In contrast, white miso is going to be your mildest and sweetest tasting miso, whereas yellow miso has a slightly salty flavor. Look for these varieties in plastic containers or bags in your grocery store near other fermented products such as tempeh and kimchi. Due to its high salt content and fermentation process, miso can last in your refrigerator for up to one year!
OTHER RECIPES THAT GO WITH MISO-GLAZED BOK CHOY
Enjoy my miso-glazed bok choy as a side dish to complement some of my tofu, stir-fry, rice, and noodle recipes:
In this miso-glazed bok choy recipe, I prefer to use baby bok choy because it’s smaller and easier to quickly sear on a hot pan. You may be wondering what the difference is between regular bok choy and baby bok choy. There is really no difference except that the baby bok choy is harvested earlier and, therefore, has smaller and sweeter leaves.
I have made bok choy on a regular pan, on a Le Creuset Cast Iron Grill Skillet, and on an outdoor grill — I love the grilling marks from the Le Creuset Grill or the outdoor grill!
- Course: Side Dish
- Cuisine: Chinese
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Servings: 4
- 2 baby bok choy (sliced in half length-wise)
- 1 tablespoon yellow miso paste
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional for garnish)
In a small bowl, add the miso paste, maple syrup, tamari, rice vinegar, and sesame oil.
Brush the mixture over the bok choy.
Heat a metal or cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
Once the pan is hot, lay down the bok choy cut-side down and sear for 1-2 minutes.
Flip to the other side and sear for another minute, then serve.