Today was the first real hot day of the summer. Sticky, sweaty, and energy sapping. It scraped the upper 90s for a while which usually saps any motivation I have for firing up the stove. The grill is another matter altogether though. Somehow, I don’t mind the searing heat of the grill as long as I can leave it outside, and maybe throw back a refreshing beverage while doing it. Enter, this simple grilled bok choy recipe.
I came across a grilled bok choy recipe by Andrea Bemis the other day that looked fantastic, so I decided to make it for dinner. This particular recipe called for leaving the bok choy whole when grilling, which sounds nice in theory. In reality, bok choy grows in very sandy soil, like leeks do, and it’s almost impossible to get all of the grit out without separating them into individual leaves and giving them a bath in the sink for a while. (If you know of a way to do it, tell me how in the comments.) Neglect to rinse the bok choy well, and you’ll be chewing on sand all meal. Also, if you’re wondering, yes, you eat the white part on bok choy. There is no need to trim that part.
I still had no desire to turn the stove on, so I decided to make use of my perforated grill pan. It’s kind of like a cookie sheet with holes in it to let the heat pass through, but it keeps stuff from falling through the grates into the grill. It’s useful for all sorts of vegetable cookery and I highly recommend picking one up. I basically just used the grill pan like a giant sauté pan, turning the bok choy every couple of minutes or so until it seemed done. Top it with a delicious sauce, and you are all set.
To round out the meal, make the simplest grilled tofu, and some rice and you are all set. Serve with a little bit of soy sauce if needed, and your favorite Asian hot sauce of the moment, sriracha, gochujang, or whatever you are into, and maybe a Kirin or Sapporo, and you’re all set.
Serves 4 - 6
15 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
30 minTotal Time
- 6 Heads bok choy, about 2.5 lbs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp ginger
- 3.5 tbsp soy sauce
- 2.5 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1.5 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1.5 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- First, preheat the grill to medium. You’ll want to place your grill pan on the grates for preheating as well.
- Fill the sink at least 4” deep with cold water. Trim the ends of the bok choy off and separate into leaves. As you separate them, toss them into the sink. Gently toss all of the bok choy around in the sink for a minute or two to rinse the sand off, then let them sit still for a minute to make sure the sand sinks to the bottom of the sink. Transfer the bok choy to a large kitchen towel and pat dry.
- In a small bowl, mix ginger, soy, vinegar, honey, and sesame oil until well mixed. Taste the sauce and adjust as you see fit. If you want to make this gluten free, use tamari instead of soy sauce.
- Transfer the bok choy to a rimmed baking sheet or large bowl, and toss with the olive oil. When the grill is hot, put the bok choy on the grill pan and spread evenly and close the cover. My grill pan is pretty large, about the size of a baking sheet. If yours is smaller, you might have to cook the greens in batches.
- Cook for 4 minutes or so before tossing with tongs. You should be getting little charred pieces of greens here and there. If you don’t see any, either turn up the heat to medium high, if you have a gas grill, or just let them cook a little longer before turning. Cook for 4 additional minutes after turning, then remove to a serving bowl.
- Toss the greens with sesame seeds. Drizzle the grilled bok choy with the sauce and enjoy!