When I developed the recipes for the "Asian Vegetables" chapter of my new book, Brassicas (Ten Speed Press), I tried to showcase bok choy using methods other than just stir-frying or steaming. In particular, I wanted to avoid anything that would leave the vegetable watery or stringy. Grilling halved heads of bok choy slathered with miso butter resulted in nicely caramelized vegetables with little pockets of flavor.
My first few attempts at grilling bok choy resulted in charred leaves that were too crisp to enjoy. Now I separate the leaves from the stalks and use them raw in a salad that wilts under the heat of the grilled vegetable. Use white or yellow miso paste in this recipe, avoiding barley miso if you're gluten free. If you use darker miso, know that it will be saltier. —lbrussell
1 1/2 pounds
baby bok choy (about 6 heads), or Shanghai bok choy
unsalted butter, at room temperature
Cut the leaves away from the bok choy stalks. Halve the stalks lengthwise. Rinse the leaves and stalks well, then pat dry to remove any excess water. In a small bowl, mix together the butter and miso with a fork until well combined.
Prepare a medium-hot fire—a hotter fire will burn the miso paste—on a charcoal or gas grill. Put the bok choy stalks in a large bowl. Using your hands (or a fork), coat the bok choy with the miso butter. Arrange the bok choy, cut side down, on the grill grate. Close the lid and grill for about 5 minutes, until golden brown on the underside. Turn the bok choy with tongs, re-cover, and grill for 5 to 6 minutes more, until golden and crisp-tender.
While the stalks are cooking, stack the bok choy leaves and roll them up lengthwise into a cigar shape. Slice the leaves crosswise into thin shreds. Make a bed of the shredded leaves on a serving platter. Drizzle the leaves with the oil and lemon juice, sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Toss to combine.
Put the grilled bok choy on the dressed salad to wilt the leaves; sprinkle additional pepper over the bok choy. Serve immediately.