Bok choy stir-fry is a staple vegetable recipe in China. This ginger miso bok choy stir-fry has a nutty and earthy taste. The perfectly cooked bok choy is crunchy and juicy. It’s simple, tasty, and easy to make with a few ingredients.
Do you feel a bit overwhelmed by the huge selection of greens to choose from in the produce aisle at Asian grocery stores. Especially the large variety of bok choy. Shanghai bok choy, baby bok choy, AA choy, milk bok choy (the kind I used in this recipe), etc. The list goes on and on. However, the bottom line is, they are all fantastic tasty leafy greens for your table.
To make things even more confusing, the different varieties can go by multiple names. In China, we call this white stem bok choy “milk bok choy” because of its white stems. However, I found in this post they referred to it as “baby bok choy”. If you are looking for them in stores, the picture will help more than the name.
Being Chinese, I cook bok choy regularly. I picked up two big bags of milk bok choy this time. Don’t they look beautiful? Compared to Shanghai bok choy, their stem is stiffer and whiter, their leaves are darker green and waxier. They also have a slightly bitter taste, in a pleasant way, than the regular bok choy. This bok choy bunch is the perfect model, don’t you think?
I learned making bok choy stir-fry from my mom. This is her favorite vegetable. She told me that bok choy can be easily overcooked. Her secret is to stir-fry them in hot oil and turn off the stove once the juice/liquid comes out from the stem. This way the stems will still be somewhat crunchy and not totally wilted.
Based on that, I added my own technique. I cut the milk bok choy in half lengthwise and place the cut side down in the hot oil. It gives the milk bok choy a nice charred flavor and chargrilled look. Then, right before serving, pour some miso sauce over it and sprinkle on some roasted white sesame seeds.
Do you have your chopsticks ready for this crunchy, spicy, nutty, and earthy ginger miso bok choy stir-fry?
- 8 heads medium size milk bok choys
- 3 teaspoons oil
- 2 teaspoons miso paste, gluten-free if desired
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
- ⅔ cup water
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce, gluten-free if desired
- 1 teaspoon roasted white sesame seeds
- Cut the milk bok choys lengthwise and then place them into a bowl of water. Bok choy can be muddy sometimes, submerging them in water will ensure the dirt and sand be removed. I found simple rinse under running water sometimes is not very effective. Drain and place the bok choys into a salad spinner to remove the extra water.
- Prepare the Ginger Miso Sauce: In a small bowl, mix together miso paste, water, and cornstarch until well combined. Heat a small skillet over high heat until the pan is hot, but not smoky hot. Add 1 teaspoon of oil and the ginger root. Cook for 1 minute. Pour the miso-water mixture in and bring the sauce to a boil. Remove the skillet from the stove and set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over high heat until smoky hot.
- Add 1 teaspoon of oil in the skillet. Use a silicon or pastry brush to evenly coat the bottom of skillet with oil. Add the half of the milk bok choy in with the cut side down. Make sure the cut side of bok choy is laying flat on the bottom of pan so the bok choy will get a nice char. Cover the skillet with lid and reduce the heat to medium high. Cook for 1 minute. Remove the lid and cook another minute. Transfer the cooked bok choy into a serving dish immediately.
- Repeat step 4 until all of the bok choys are finished.
- Drizzle 2 tablespoons of ginger miso sauce over the cooked bok choys. Sprinkle sesame seeds to garnish. Serve immediately.