My Go-To Grilled Bok Choy with Miso Lemon Dressing

I know: autumn is happening, folks. I’m the first one to light up a cider-scented candle and roast some delicata squash, but I’m also going to be rolling out the grill and planning cookouts with friends until we’re digging out the winter coats.

Getting together with people and sitting in a rotating list of backyards while we’ve got the grill loaded with whatever looked good at the grocery store or farmers market is my ideal warm-weather weekend plan. I’m game to go all out for these too: I’ll spend a few days prepping a couple of different dishes, maybe baking or marinating or fermenting. But if I haven’t had the time or if we need a last minute veg, you know I’ve got a go-to: grilled bok choy with a miso lemon dressing.

Yeah, it leans on eastern Asian flavors (it came out of many a gochujang-fueled menu), but it could easily pair up with a golden roasted chicken, braised beef, or flash-grilled pork chops. The dressing only takes a few minutes to pull together and could easily be made a week ahead of time. The bok choy then just needs few minutes on the grill right before dinnertime to char the leaves and soften the middle. Chop it into chunks before dressing or, if you’ve gotten the small ones, let people help themselves to a whole baby bok choy.

I always get requests for the recipe, and until now, I’ve always said to just “grate ginger and garlic until it feels like too much, then add in a big squeeze of lemon juice, mirin, and sesame seeds, plus a big heaping spoonful of miso.” You can totally do that, but if you need more structure—I got you. Here are the full deets:

Grilled Bok Choy with Miso Lemon Dressing

Recipe Inspiration: Fine Cooking’s Baby Bok Choy with Warm Miso Dressing
Makes 3 lb. bok choy, about 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp. grated ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. grated garlic (about 5 cloves)
  • ½ cup mirin
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. white or red miso
  • 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
  • Up to 3 lb. bok choy (any size works, but I prefer small baby bok choy)

Preparation

  1. Combine canola oil, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic in a small pot over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until very aromatic and just starting to brown, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add mirin, lemon juice, miso, and sesame seeds and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until thickened slightly, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use. Dressing can be made several days ahead.
  4. Preheat a grill for even, medium-high heat and oil grates. Add bok choy and cook until tips of leaves are beginning to char, about 2 minutes for small heads and 3 to 4 minutes for larger heads.
  5. Flip and continue cooking until other side is beginning to char on top and base of the bok choy is beginning to soften.
  6. Remove from grill, cut off base, and chop if desired. Drizzle with dressing. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm until ready to serve.

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